A $5 billion investment in California’s largest food hub could pave the way for a $25 billion food industry
By Sarah K. Johnson | 11.01.2018 | 4:10:42USDA Director of the Food and Nutrition Service Tom Johnson said in a statement that a $5.4 billion investment by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in California’s largest city of Fresno would create the first major food hub in the US.
“This is a game changer,” Johnson said.
“The food industry has been looking for a place to grow and flourish for a long time, but it’s been an uphill battle.
The state of California has been a leader in this space, and this investment is another major step forward.”
The $5bn investment by NIFA, which is part of the US Department of Agriculture, is a $20 billion increase from last year’s $2.6 billion investment.
The investment comes after the state last year secured an $8 billion loan for Fresno.NIFA President Tom Pecoraro said in his statement that Fresno was a key market for this investment, and that the city was “one of the most exciting cities in America”.
“We have a thriving food industry here in Fresno and this capital investment will help us to grow the region’s leading industry,” Pecora said.
The project has attracted international investment in the city, including $20 million from Singapore.
The NIFA announcement comes as the food industry faces the challenges of climate change and a shrinking market for fresh produce.
The global demand for fresh food is expected to decline by an estimated 8% by 2050, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation.
The world’s largest producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, the US is expected grow the fastest.