The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is accepting grant applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Nonprofits and government agencies wishing to apply have until March 15.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program aims to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the marketplace. It is managed by the department, through funding by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“In 2016, we awarded more than $1 million for 11 projects across the state,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The success and growth of specialty crops are important as we grow our agriculture and agribusiness industry from $84 billion to $100 billion.”
The department will accept grant requests ranging from $20,000 to $200,000 from nonprofit organizations, commodity associations, state and local government agencies, colleges and universities. Grants are not available for projects that directly benefit or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. The application deadline is 5 p.m.,March 15.
Eligible projects must involve fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, nursery, floriculture or horticulture crops. Funding is also available for projects aimed at developing local and regional food systems and improving food access.