Financing Is Difficult, But Some Financial and Other Assistance Is Available From USDA

T-RCED-94-62: Published: Nov 10, 1993. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 1993.

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GAO discussed issues affecting aquaculture, focusing on the availability of: (1) commercial and federal financing for aquaculture; and (2) other assistance for the aquaculture industry from the Department of Agriculture (USDA). GAO noted that: (1) financing for aquaculture is generally difficult to obtain because of the risks of doing business in an emerging industry; (2) since October 1990, the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) has guaranteed almost $38 million in aquaculture loans; (3) USDA provides research, information services, and export promotion to the aquaculture industry, and budgeted over $24 million for these activities in fiscal year (FY) 1993; (4) some officials feel that current USDA services do not meet the unique and most urgent needs of the industry; (5) FmHA loan limits are often too low to be useful to aquaculturalists; (6) there is a need for research on animal drugs to comply with Food and Drug Administration registration requirements; and (7) additional practical research is needed to test the commercialization of individual species.

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