By Paul DeMarco, commentary
BIRMINGHAM — The spread of the coronavirus has affected Alabama’s economy in all aspects from manufacturing to retail to restaurants. Yet, one of Alabama’s top industries that has also been tremendously impacted is Agriculture.
Each year, $70 billion in revenue is generated in the state by Alabama farmers.
Thus, when the pandemic hit the state, it also made it harder for farmers and processing facilities to continue to bring their products to market for consumers.
When the agriculture community is impacted it also hits rural Alabama, even harder than the rest of the state.
Governor Kay Ivey has now awarded $26 million in federal grants from coronavirus relief funds to the Alabama Agriculture Stabilization Program.
Almost a quarter of the state’s workforce involves those in the agriculture industry and $1 million dollars in direct sales of such products creates 10 jobs in Alabama each year.
As the state pushes through the effects of the coronavirus, hopefully, the state’s efforts to assist state farmers will bridge the gap as we are hopefully closer to the end than the beginning of the pandemic.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives