SDFR Policy Center at Alcorn State University supports Inflation Reduction Act to provide relief for Black farmers

During its quarterly advisory board meeting, the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDFR) Policy Research Center (Policy Center) board members unanimously agreed that revisions to Section 1006 (e) of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) are beneficial to provide relief for Black farmers. The IRA offers additional funding for more Black farmers than the American Rescue Plan (ARP) or the Build Back Better Acts.

The ARP would have provided debt relief under Section 1005 to about 3,000 Black farmers with less than $300 million in total payments. That number only represents about 8 percent of Black farmers. Ninety-two percent of Black farmers would not have received any relief under Section 1005.

Several lawsuits stopped the implementation of Section 1005 debt relief and assistance to the selected 8 percent of Black farmers. It is unlikely that these lawsuits will be settled anytime soon. The repeal of Section 1005 eliminates the cases.

Black and other SDFRs who have been discriminated against are eligible to apply for relief under the revised Section 1006 (e), where $2.2 billion has been designated.  Distressed borrowers are also eligible to apply for relief under a new section 22006, where the Secretary of Agriculture shall use $3.1 billion to provide relief as expeditiously as possible.

The Policy Center has developed, and submitted recommendations to the USDA for implementing the revisions to Section 1006 (e) related to the settlement of cases for Financial Assistance for Farmers, Ranchers, or Forest Landowners subject to Discrimination and for Immediate Relief for Farm Loan Borrowers with at Risk Agricultural Operations.