Funding for USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants Announced
Posted on 09/25/2013 at 12:00 AM by Christa Hartsook
USDA will invest $52 million in grants to support America's specialty crop producers through the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program awards. The funding includes 54 block grants to U.S. states and territories that will support 694 initiatives nationwide. These grants will assist producers of fresh fruits and vegetables and help strengthen markets for specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for fiscal year 2013 supports initiatives that:
- Increase nutritional knowledge and specialty crop consumption
- Improve efficiency within the distribution system and reduce costs
- Promote the development of good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices while encouraging audit fund cost-sharing for small farmers, packers and processors
- Support research through standard and green initiatives
- Enhance food safety
- Develop new/improved seed varieties and specialty crops
- Control pests and diseases
- Create organic and sustainable production practices
- Establish local and regional fresh food systems
- Increasing healthy food access in underserved communities
Visit www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp to read the 2013 project summaries and view a list of awards by location.