Black Farmers Secure $1.25 Million in Funding to Acquire Land in California

Ujamaa Farmer Collective just received $1.25 million in state financing to assist Black farmers in acquiring the land they require to build their enterprises. This investment is an important step toward resolving the historical inequities in land ownership that Black farmers have encountered.

The organization Ujamaa Farmer Collective, founded by Black farmers Nelson Hawkins, Nathaniel Brown, and Keith Hudson, seeks to empower historically underprivileged farmers through cooperative land ownership.

BIPOC farmers currently hold less than 2% of the farmland in the United States. We Grow Farms, a farm in West Sacramento that provides much-needed produce to local communities, is also confronting the difficulty of prospective housing development on its leased land.

To address the issue, the Ujamaa Farmer Collective intends to acquire property in Yolo County, California, with $1.25 million in financing provided by the California legislature in 2022. The land will be divided into smaller sections of half an acre to five acres in size. This enables numerous farms to function autonomously while sharing resources.

Ujamaa, which means “extended family” in Swahili, embodies cooperative economics and inclusivity. Their goal is to “elevate everybody’s potential so [we] can all thrive,” Hawkins told Because of Them We Can.

Ujamaa, unlike other agricultural collectives, is governed by Black farmers who have historically experienced land ownership hurdles. This initiative aims to re-distribute opportunities to Black farmers while also amplifying their voices and creating a more resilient community.

Written by PH

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