Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/20/1998)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Assistance for Sub-Saharan Africa

Title II: Worldwide Food Assistance and Agricultural

Programs

Subtitle A: Nonemergency Food Assistance Programs

Subtitle B: Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust Act of 1998

Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions

Africa: Seeds of Hope Act of 1998 - Declares it to be U.S. policy, consistent with title XII of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act, to support governments of sub-Saharan African countries, U.S. and African nongovernmental organizations, universities, businesses, and international agencies to help ensure the availability of basic nutrition and economic opportunities for sub-Saharan individuals, through sustainable agricultural and rural development.

Title I: Assistance for Sub-Saharan Africa - Directs the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), in providing development assistance under the Africa Food Security Initiative, or any comparable or successor program, to: (1) emphasize programs and projects that improve the food security of children, women, and food-insecure households, or that improve the agricultural productivity, incomes, and marketing of the rural poor in Africa; (2) solicit and take into consideration the views and needs of intended beneficiaries and program participants during the selection, planning, implementation, and evaluation phases of projects; (3) favor countries that are implementing trade and investment reforms in order to enhance free market development in the food processing and agricultural sectors; and (4) ensure that programs are designed and conducted in cooperation with African and U.S. organizations and institutions (such as private and voluntary organizations, cooperatives, land-grant and other appropriate universities, and local producer-owned cooperative marketing and buying associations) that have expertise in addressing the needs of the poor, small-scale farmers, entrepreneurs, and rural workers, including women.

(Sec. 101) Expresses the sense of the Congress that, if there is an increase in funding for sub-Saharan programs, the Administrator of AID should proportionately increase resources to the Africa Food Security Initiative, or any comparable or successor program, for FY 2000 and subsequent fiscal years in order to meet the needs of the countries participating in such Initiative.

(Sec. 102) Directs the Administrator of AID to use, through bilateral and multilateral assistance, microenterprise assistance (including credit) to improve the capacity and efficiency of agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa of small-scale farmers and small rural entrepreneurs (specifically using the applied research and technical assistance capabilities of U.S. land-grant universities).

(Sec. 103) Authorizes the Administrator of AID to utilize foreign assistance programs and initiatives for sub-Saharan Africa to support private producer-owned cooperative marketing associations there, including rural business associations owned by farmer shareholders.

(Sec. 104) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) should issue loans, guaranties, and insurance, and utilize existing equity funds and loan and insurance funds, to support private agricultural and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa (particularly intermediary organizations that directly serve the needs of small-scale farmers, small rural entrepreneurs, and rural producer-owned cooperative purchasing and marketing associations).

(Sec. 105) Directs the Administrator of AID to develop a comprehensive plan to coordinate and build on the research and extension activities of U.S. land-grant universities, international agricultural research centers, and national agricultural research and extension centers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Title II: Worldwide Food Assistance and Agricultural Programs - Subtitle A: Non-Emergency Food Assistance Programs - Sets forth general requirements for the administration of non-emergency assistance programs under title II of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954.

Subtitle B: Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust Act of 1998 - Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust Act of 1998 - Amends the Food Security Commodity Reserve Act of 1996 and the Food Security Wheat Reserve Act of 1980 to rename specified provisions of the Food for Development Program as the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust Act.

(Sec. 212) Includes, as part of the established trust stock of wheat, rice, corn, or sorghum used to meet emergency humanitarian food needs in developing countries, certain funds for Commodity Credit Corporation programs under the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 that are available, with respect to FY 2000 through 2002, to acquire such eligible commodities through purchases from producers or in the market to replenish the trust. Authorizes the release of eligible commodities from the trust for emergency food assistance to developing countries, provided such release is at levels consistent with maintaining the long-term value of the trust.

Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions - Directs the Administrator of AID to report to the Congress on AID's plans for implementing the Africa Food Security Initiative, including an estimate of all amounts expended or to be expended on related activities during the current and previous four years.