Farm Service Agency announces reimbursement program for commercial farmers
The USDA Farm Service Agency of American Samoa announced recently that through the Reimbursement of Transportation Cost Payment Program (RTCP) commercial farmers in American Samoa are eligible to recoup up to 25% of their transportation costs for farm purchases made in fiscal year 2017.
“This program helps American Samoa’s commercial farmers, ranchers and livestock operators, who are at a competitive disadvantage when transporting agriculture products to market,” said Agricultural Specialist Josie Malepeai Lealasola.
She told Samoa News, they have been receiving applications after the workshop that was held as part of the Access To Capital Business Workshop last Thursday, July 27th.
RTCP payments are calculated based on the costs incurred for transportation of the agricultural commodity or inputs during a fiscal year, subject to an $8,000 per producer cap per fiscal year. In the event that claims for payments exceed the funds available from the program for a fiscal year, payments will be reduced on a pro-rata basis.
According to FSA Acting Executive Director, Steve Peterson, "This program helps US farmers and ranchers outside the 48 contiguous states who are at a competitive disadvantage when transporting agriculture products to market."
Commercial farmers are encouraged to bring their original receipts for fiscal year 2017 (starting July 17, 2017 through September 2017) to the Farm Service Agency office located in Suite 213 of the Pago Plaza building, and the deadline to sign up is September 8th.
“While we are not able to reimburse the cost of the items purchased for the farming operation, RTCP is able to assist with the extra expense that we pay because the farming inputs are all at a higher cost locally to offset the transportation cost.
“Farmers importing using a freight forwarder or shipping company for farm purchases as well as purchases made locally are all eligible for this program, with an original receipt within the 2017 fiscal year,” Lealasola said.
If you have any questions regarding RTCP or to make an appointment to fill out an application please contact Josie Malepeai Lealasola at 633-1031 ext 127.