USDA allocates $18 million to strengthen CA’s pest prevention

The $18 million in funding will go towards projects such as pest detector dog teams and exotic fruit fly trapping.

STOCKTON, Calif. — New federal funding is on the way aimed at helping farmers by bolstering California’s pest prevention measures.

United States Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Jenny Moffitt was in Stockton Friday announcing the new $18 million in funds. She met with local leaders and local agricultural producers to talk about how the funding will go to programs that detect new pests and prevent them from making California home.

“In 2020, California agricultural exports generated more than $20 billion. The state is a leader in US agricultural production,” said Moffitt. “Protecting that industry is essential to maintaining a strong national agricultural economy.”

Some of the programs slated to receive money from the allocation include pest detector dog teams that are able to sniff out non-native invasive pets in packages and exotic fruit fly trapping programs.

“Since those are our first lines of defense against any exotic pests, those programs help to make sure that our exports out of the county continue to happen and our agriculture stays protected,” said San Joaquin County’s Agricultural Commissioner Kamal Bagri. “It also helps us to make sure that produce gets to our community.”

Watch more San Joaquin County stories from ABC10: Stockton gets new federal COVID-19 relief funding from USDA

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