Governor Newsom has on his desk an historic package of budget bills that include much-needed investments to help our food and farm system recover from the impacts of the pandemic and shore up resilience to climate shocks.
A total of $1.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2021-22 will fund a range of programs and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support farmers in transitioning to organic production, provide affordable housing to farmworkers and their families, improve the infrastructure in school kitchens, food banks and senior nutrition programs, and more. The budget packages also include for the first time proposed multi-year investments.
Here is a summary of the spending plans for FY 2021-22:
- Climate Smart/Climate Resilient Farms (e.g., healthy soils, on-farm water conservation): $219 million
- Sustainable Groundwater Management Implementation (supports farmers with a transition to reducing groundwater use): $230 million
- Farmworker Housing and Safety (new housing and upgrades, pesticide notification to reduce farmworker exposure): $165 million
- Healthy Food Access Infrastructure (upgrades to school kitchens, food banks and senior nutrition programs): $352 million
- Regional Food Economies Infrastructure (food hubs and refrigeration to increase fruit and vegetable access in low-income neighborhoods): $25 million
- Food Waste/Compost Infrastructure: $130 million
- Upgrades to Fairgrounds and the Development of Community Resilience Centers: $190 million
“This budget recognizes the importance of safeguarding California’s food supply in the face of drought, wildfires and the pandemic,” said Jeanne Merrill, Policy Director with the California Climate and Agriculture Network. “By scaling up investments the legislature and the Governor are taking an important step towards building a resilient agriculture system in the face of climate change, protecting those who grow our food, and making sure our children, seniors and low-income community members have access to healthy food and healthy jobs.”
For more details, please see here.
The California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) is a coalition of the state’s leading sustainable agriculture and farmer allies. Since 2009, CalCAN has cultivated farmer leadership to face the challenges of climate change and to serve as the sustainable agriculture voice on climate change policy in California.