U.S. and Honduran ag officials on Wednesday signed an agreement to advance agricultural development in the Central American country.
USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and Honduras Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock Jacobo Paz signed the agreement, which works through the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Food for Progress Program.
Through the agreement, USDA will provide the government of Honduras with 30,000 metric tons of U.S. yellow corn and 18,000 tons of U.S. soybean meal, valued at approximately $17 million.
The Honduran government will use proceeds from the sale of the commodities to implement projects aimed at improving agricultural productivity, enhancing farmers' access to information and market skills, building government capacity, and strengthening local, regional and international trade in agricultural products.
Harden said the Food for Progress program helps support sustainable agriculture in developing countries while promoting ag trade.
"Today's agreement continues USDA's successful partnership with the Honduran government and the private sector under Food for Progress and the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program," USDA's Harden said in a statement. "I am proud that our cooperative efforts are building a stronger agricultural sector, creating new opportunities and better lives for the people of Honduras."
The projects supported by this new agreement will focus on the creation of jobs and income opportunities for Honduras' citizens. The beneficiaries will include small farmers, as well as small businesses and producer organizations, particularly those that support rural women and youth.
The 2014 Food for Progress program supported about 1.6 million people and seven international projects.
Projects included work in El Slavador to assist the coffee sector, work in Nicaragua with the cacao agroforestry and livestock sectors, and other efforts to improve national extension programs, farmer cooperatives, improvement of seed varieties and crop diversification, USDA said.
Find more information about the Food for Progress Program on the FAS website.