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Biden-Harris Administration Invests in Domestic Fertilizer Projects to Strengthen American Farms and Businesses in Hawaii

David Rush
Hilo, Hawaii
Release Date

HILO, Hawaii., May 24, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is investing in domestic fertilizer projects to strengthen competition for U.S. farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers.

This funding advances President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to grow the nation’s economy from the middle out and bottom up. It will create jobs and spur economic growth in rural communities by increasing competition in agricultural markets. Through these projects, President Biden is delivering on promises he made two years ago when he visited rural Illinois to announce the doubling of funding available through the Fertilizer Production and Expansion Program (FPEP).

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to bolstering the economy and increasing competition for our nation’s farmers, ranchers and small business owners,” Secretary Vilsack said. “The investments announced today, made possible through the Commodity Credit Corporation, will increase domestic fertilizer production and strengthen our supply chain, all while creating good-paying jobs that will benefit everyone.”

According to Hawaii/Western Pacific State Director Chris Kanazawa, this funding for fertilizer production will greatly enhance capability for local farming. “Our farmers depend on locally produced fertilizer and other essential manufacturing methods to be able to help keep costs down and be less reliant on more expensive goods that must be shipped into the islands. We take pride in locally grown produce and this is a great investment for our farmers.”  

For example:

  • In Hawaii, $3,999,999 will be used to construct and equip a biochar manufacturing facility located in Kapolei, Oahu. Simonpietri Enterprises LLC will produce an organic, nutrient rich fertilizer from wood and green waste gasification, poultry litter, and biodiesel refining. The facility is expected to produce 28,800 tons annually which will provide a domestic fertilizer option for roughly 668 organic producers within the region.

The Department is awarding $83 million in 12 states for projects through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program (FPEP). This program provides grants to independent business owners to help them modernize equipment, adopt new technologies, build production plants and more.

These investments will boost domestic fertilizer production, strengthen competition and lower costs for U.S. farmers. The projects will also help U.S. farmers increase independent, domestic fertilizer production.

USDA is making awards to facilities in California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington. To date, USDA has invested $251 million in 57 projects across 29 states through FPEP.

President Biden and USDA created FPEP to combat issues facing American farmers due to rising fertilizer prices, which more than doubled between 2021 and 2022 due to a variety of factors such as war in Ukraine and a lack of competition in the fertilizer industry. The Administration committed up to $900 million through the Commodity Credit Corporation for FPEP. Funding supports long-term investments that will strengthen supply chains, create new economic opportunities for American businesses, and support climate-smart innovation.

FPEP is part of a broader effort to help producers boost production and address global food insecurity. It is also one of many ways the Administration is promoting fair competition, innovation and resiliency across food and agriculture while combating the climate crisis.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery Subscriber Page.  

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.


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