'Buy local' missing from draft House Farm Bill

U.S. Agency for International Development's Food For Peace food aid stacked in trucks. Photo by: R. Gustafson / USAID / CC BY-SA

The House Agriculture Committee is set to discuss its 2012 version of the U.S. Farm Bill July 11, but based on the bill’s draft text, aid groups may be up for disappointment.

The House’s draft version of the bill, released Thursday (July 5), does not mention of any reform pertaining to the local and regional purchase of food aid  — an issue commonly raised by food aid advocates — under the Food for Peace program.

The U.S. way of shipping food aid instead of buying it locally has long been criticized. It wastes money and does not help local markets of recipient countries, aid groups have argued.

Anti-poverty group Oxfam has criticized the draft House Farm Bill for continuing “wasteful giveaways to powerful lobbies” in an article on The Hill. Unlike the Senate’s version, the House Farm Bill does not include allowing the continuation of a program that studies the effectiveness of purchasing food aid locally.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.