RELEASE: Letter from the Breakthrough Institute and Others Asks Congress to Explore Public Financing Options for Emerging Agricultural Innovations
Signed by 31 agritech companies, startups, and nonprofits, the letter urges Congress and USDA to analyze and address financing gaps for innovative food and agricultural technologies.
Washington, DC—This week, the Breakthrough Institute, joined by 30 agritech companies, startups, and nonprofits, sent a letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture. The letter encourages Congress to direct the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to analyze financing gaps that present barriers to emerging agricultural innovations, technologies, and industries in the Fiscal Year 2024 spending bill.
While the request calls on USDA to ultimately determine which industries and technologies would be prime candidates for federal financing support, supporters of this letter represent a wide range of capital-intensive, low-carbon industries. USDA could focus on financing challenges for these industries, which include companies developing novel crop varieties, biofermentation facilities, greenhouse gas and soil carbon carbon measurement tools, low-carbon fertilizers, or ingredients for low-carbon products.
The letter states, “In the food and agriculture sectors, development and adoption of emerging technologies is crucial to increasing productivity and international competitiveness, providing affordable and nutritious food, and improving environmental sustainability.
While USDA offers billions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees each year for agricultural producers, small businesses, and rural industries, it does not provide sufficient financial support to startups and other businesses developing emerging agricultural technologies and/or scaling up manufacturing capacity for their production to support their business needs.”
The letter continues on to say, “Congress should consider ways to expand manufacturing capacity of new food and agricultural technologies. Access to finance is frequently a barrier to creating pilot, demonstration, and commercial-scale facilities in many new industries. Federally supported financing, such as loan guarantees, can therefore play an important role in enabling their growth.
This analysis would be essential for members of Congress and the Executive Branch to inform a discussion about potential public financing programs and how they could contribute to national economic, social, and environmental goals.”
Albedo Space Corp
Arkea Bio Corp.
Clean Crop Technologies
DMC Biotechnologies, Inc.
Eat Just, Inc.
Food Solutions Action
Holocene Climate Corporation
Mars Materials, Inc. PBC
Molten Industries Inc.
Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council
The Berggruen Institute
The Better Meat Co.
The Breakthrough Institute
The Good Food Institute
Yard Stick PBC