The Port of Oswego is receiving $15 million in state money for the construction of the Central New York Agriculture Export Center at the port.

The port handles more than one million tons of imports and exports annually by cargo ships.

A news release put out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office states one of the fastest growing commodities exported from the Central New York Region around the world is agricultural products, including corn and soybeans, and this investment will restore the port’s full functionality and help make the region more globally competitive by providing central New York agribusinesses access to world export markets for less than they would spend to truck commodities to other seaports.

“The Port of Oswego is a key economic generator for the entire Central New York Region,” Cuomo said. “This investment will help the port renew and modernize its agricultural handling facilities, providing the region with enhanced access to international markets and boosting local economies.”

The money will support the construction of a new storage dome, a storage silo, a tunnel and belt conveyor system, as well as a control center and a U.S. Department of Agriculture sampling laboratory for agricultural products.

“For years, the Port of Oswego’s inability to export grain was a lost opportunity for Upstate New York’s farmers. That is why over the past several years I worked to secure necessary approvals from the USDA so the Port of Oswego could begin exporting New York ag products all over the world,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

“Despite a record number of exports from Oswego last year, the port was forced to repeatedly seek a waiver from USDA because it lacked certain equipment, which consistently put shipments at risk. This investment will ensure that waiver is no longer necessary, meaning the Port of Oswego and New York farmers will not have to cut through bureaucratic red tape each time they seek to access much-needed export markets,” he said.

Schumer also recently helped the port receive a waiver to allow local soybean farmers and the port export tons of exports to international markets. Schumer explained that while the port had a massive opportunity to ship 20,000 metric tons of locally-grown soybeans to international markets, it was temporarily being prevented from moving forward as the U.S. Department of Agriculture had not yet signed off on a waiver needed to weigh and inspect grain manually.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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