Algae to Omega has been a leader in the development of proprietary technologies related to the sustainable cultivation of microalgae. Microalgae contain several bioactive compounds that can meet the nutrient and energy demands of our growing population, without posing a negative impact on the environment.
Unlike traditional agriculture crops, algae doesn’t need arable land or an abundant supply of fresh water and fertilizer to grow, and its cultivation can be done completely indoors controlled environment. However, because of these important differences and the fact that the demand for algae derived products is relatively new, algae has largely been overlooked by the USDA as a crop. That is, until recently.
Recognizing the fact that algae has the potential to revolutionize food production, energy, and how the nation approaches global sustainability challenges, in March of 2018, lawmakers took important steps to incentivize algae cultivation with the introduction of the Algae Agriculture Act (H.R. 5373). This bill also comes as algae is being increasingly recognized as an agricultural crop, and demand for algae-based food ingredients for everything from energy drinks and cooking oils to animal and aquaculture feed has increased exponentially.
The Algae Agriculture Act – What Will it Do?
The Algae Agriculture Act was introduced into Congress by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in order support the development of algae as a crop. If passed, it will give cultivators and harvesters of algae many of the same significant benefits under U.S. agriculture policy that apply to those who cultivate more traditional crops.
Specifically, the new legislation would ensure that algae farmers would be eligible to receive financial assistance in cases of crop disaster, as farmers of other traditional crops are. This assistance is available to help farmers when they experience a loss of inventory, natural disasters prevent planting, or when yields are unexpectedly low.
The bill would also provide support for algae research and development in agriculture by updating the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to include algae and its applications in agriculture. Algae would also be included in the crops that can be studied by the Foundation of Food and Agriculture, which is a nonprofit research institute responsible for studying both the environmental and economic resilience of the nation’s food supply.
Studies would also be authorized to examine the potential for algae cultivation to support the ecosystem, improve soil health, manage nutrients, and boost rural manufacturing and energy production. The goal of these studies will be to fully examine the ways in which algae can be positioned as an agricultural solution.
In Addition, the Algae Agriculture Act would give U.S. based algae cultivators like Algae to Omega the edge needed to better solidify their place in this growing global algae production market. Indeed, microalgae cultivation technologies are rapidly advancing worldwide and the support from this bill will ensure that the U.S. becomes an industry leader in the near future.