Congressman Darren Soto and his Republican colleague, North Florida Congressman Ted Yoho, have introduced a bill that would make the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development or BARD program permanent. BARD was first founded 40 years ago.
The partnership involves applied research of agricultural problems jointly conducted by American and Israeli scientists. Most BARD projects focus on increasing agricultural productivity in hot and dry climates, and emphasize plant and animal health, food quality and safety, and environmental issues.
The bill is needed because there is no formal agreement between the U.S and Israel to keep the program running and no protection under federal law. Both lawmakers cite an independent study that demonstrates the projects have delivered on both nation’s respective return investment since the program began in 1977
“BARD advances research that feeds and enriches our two countries. This bill puts BARD on a firm footing – it is a forward-looking, commonsense, bipartisan solution, supported by experts and advocates. And it strengthens our relationship with our best ally in the Middle East: Israel,” said Soto.
You can watch Soto introduce the bill below..