The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that California leads the nation in the amount of funding support received for specialty crops. For the 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, California received $22.9 million in funding out of a total of approximately $72.4 million awarded nationwide.
The program provides grants to state departments of agriculture to be used for supporting projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, which are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops. Recipients include non-profit and for-profit organizations, government entities, as well as colleges and universities.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is funding 69 projects, with grant awards ranging between $50,000 and $450,000. CDFA solicited fixed amount awards for projects addressing two significant priorities: assisting California’s specialty crop industry adapt to the requirements set forth in USDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, and addressing various concerns related to labor in the specialty crop supply chain.
Listen to the report below.