The California Department of Food and Agriculture has received $23.8 million out of approximately $72.4 million awarded by USDA for the 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The SCBGP provides grants to state departments of agriculture to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).
With the $23.8 million, CDFA awarded grants for 58 projects, ranging from $50,000 to $450,000 to non-profit and for-profit organizations, government entities, and colleges and universities. Selected through a competitive process, these projects focus on increasing sales of specialty crops by leveraging the unique qualities of specialty crops grown in California; increasing consumption by expanding the specialty crop consumer market, improving availability of specialty crops and providing nutritional education for consumers; training growers to equip them for current and future challenges; investing in training for growers/producers/operators to address current and future challenges; and conducting research on conservation and environmental outcomes, pest control and disease, and organic and sustainable production practices.
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In addition, CDFA made awards to first-time recipients through the “Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations” program. This program was developed for organizations that support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, including urban farmers, and/or promote increased access or nutrition education in underserved communities throughout California.
For a full list of awards, click here.
The agency is currently accepting proposals for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grants until 5 pm. On Oct. 23.
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