The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture recently opened the proposal period for the federal Specialty Crops Block Grant (SCBG) program, which funds specialty horticulture crop projects that address food system gaps caused by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is funding the program which will award nearly $1.4 million nationwide. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture administers the program for the state.
“These funds are a win-win for producers and consumers alike,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding said. “The funded projects will help producers overcome the challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, they will connect consumers to specialty crops through increased availability and access, strengthening our food system. »
Eligible projects address local, regional and national challenges faced by specialty crop growers; assist growers with research and development related to specialty crops; leverage efforts to market and promote specialty crops; and increasing the availability of and access to specialty crops.
Special crops include culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, nuts, dried fruits, nursery crops, fruits and vegetables.
The solicitation process will be divided into two phases. Proposals are due July 30 on the PA Department of Community and Economic Development website. Projects that score high will be invited to complete a final grant proposal to be submitted in September.