Grant Opportunities

USDA announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (US)

USDA announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (US)


Deadline: 11-Jun-21

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is inviting applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to award grants to eligible State departments of agriculture to carry out projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

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Purpose

SCBGP assists State departments of agriculture in the 50 States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by—

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leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops;
assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops;
expanding availability and access to specialty crops; and
addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.
For purposes of this FY 2021 RFA, USDA considers response to the COVID-19 pandemic necessary to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, and projects that respond to the pandemic are considered to be responsive to item 4 above, addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

Specialty crops are fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). A State department of agriculture is the agency, commission, or department of a State government responsible for agriculture within the State.

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State departments of agriculture are encouraged to perform outreach to interested parties, including socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, new and beginning farmers or ranchers, veteran producers, and underserved communities, prior to the development and release of the State’s request for proposals or applications, through a transparent process of receiving and considering public comment to identify State SCBGP funding priorities.

The State department of agriculture should conduct this outreach to ensure that the grant applications it submits to the SCBGP have been developed with proven and justified public support.

Beginning Farmer or Rancher is an individual or entity that has not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years and substantially participates in the operation.
Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher is a farmer or rancher who is a member of a Socially Disadvantaged Group. A Socially Disadvantaged Group is a group whose members have been subject to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and, where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program.
Veteran Farmer or Rancher is a producer who served in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard, including the reserve component thereof, was released from service under conditions other than dishonorable, and has not operated a farm or ranch or has operated a farm or ranch for no more than 10 years or who first obtained status as a veteran during the most recent 10-year period.
Funding Information

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Approximately $72.9 million in annual Farm Bill funding is available for applications under this solicitation. An additional $97 million (without AMS administrative costs) is also available for applications under this solicitation.
Project Types

For Farm Bill funding, States are encouraged to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry, as in prior years, and may also fund projects that respond specifically to COVID-19 impacts:

Enhancing food safety;
Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act
Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
Pest and disease control;
Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; and
Sustainability.
Eligibility Criteria

Health Awareness Project to Prevention of HIV and Hepatitis C among Youth
Project to improve livelihoods of Rural Women through Beekeeping
Establish Elderly Support Multi Service Centers for the Support and Welfare of Senior Citizens
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Solid Waste Management through Recycling and Reuse
Reducing Road Traffic Deaths and Injuries by Building Knowledge and Capacity of Youth
Provide Family and Community Support for Orphaned Children
Establish Elderly Support Multi Service Centers for the Support and Welfare of Senior Citizens
Groundwater Pollution and Integrated Water Management in Slums Areas in the City of Dar es Salaam
Community Healthcare Services through Mobile Clinic
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Eligible applicants are State departments of agriculture in the 50 States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands.
A State department of agriculture is the agency, commission, or department of a State government responsible for agriculture within the State.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=332855

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