Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the Washington Post that the Trump administration gave only a tiny slice of the funds from its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to Black farmers.
“We saw 99 percent of the money going to white farmers and one percent going to socially disadvantaged farmers,” Vilsack said. “And if you break that down to how much went to Black farmers, it’s 0.1 percent.”
“Look at it another way: The top 10 percent of farmers in the country received 60 percent of the value of the COVID payments,” he added. “And the bottom 10 percent received 0.26 percent.”
In hard numbers, out of the nearly $26 billion the previous administration awarded to farmers, only $20.8 million went to Black farmers, according to Vilsack.
Meanwhile, Black Americans were (and still are) suffering disproportionate economic hardships caused by the pandemic.
The Biden administration’s newly passed American Rescue Plan includes relief funds aiming to fix the disparity between Black and white farmers. The Post reports that about half of the legislation’s $10.4 billion agriculture funds will go to disadvantaged farmers, a quarter of whom are Black.