Buchanan Hails NEW Funding to Combat Citrus Greening
USDA announces $30 million to fight deadly disease
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, Co-Chair of the Congressional Citrus Caucus, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an additional $30 million to combat citrus greening, the deadly bacterial disease crippling one of Florida's most iconic industries.
"Finding a cure for citrus greening is essential to maintaining a strong economy and protecting jobs right here in Southwest Florida,” said Buchanan, noting that greening has already spread to all 32 citrus-growing counties across the state. “These funds represent a crucial step forward in our fight to eliminate this pervasive disease."
Buchanan helped lead efforts last year to secure an unprecedented $125 million to combat citrus greening as part of the five-year farm bill (H.R. 2642) that President Obama later signed into law. The legislation also authorizes the disbursement of up to $125 million over five years to combat this disease.
According to the most recent report from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, citrus greening has had a devastating impact on Florida’s economy over the past eight seasons resulting in:
· a loss of $7.8 billion in industry output or an average $975 million loss per year.
· a loss of 7,513 jobs (full-time and part-time).
According to Florida Citrus Mutual:
The total impact of citrus to Florida’s economy is approximately $9 billion a year.
The citrus industry, directly and indirectly, generates roughly 76,000 full time and part time jobs.