The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing support for urban agriculture and innovative production projects. Up to $4 million in USDA grants is available from the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production. Proposals are being accepted for planning and innovation projects on Grants.gov. Applicants will have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 30 to submit a proposal.
“Urban agriculture can play an important role in food justice and equity,” Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Gloria Montaño Greene said in a press release. “Such projects have the potential to educate, innovate, and unify communities to improve nutrition and food access and increase local food production in urban areas.”
It marks the second year that USDA is offering grant opportunities for planning projects to expand agricultural efforts in urban areas and suburbs. Planning projects can cover a variety of areas including food access, costs for new farmers to get established, education, and urban agroforestry. Development of policies that address zoning issues and other needs for urban production also qualify. Implementation projects enhance existing and emerging models of agricultural practices to serve multiple farmers. Projects are meant to improve local food access through support of emerging technologies, implementation of urban farming policies, and supporting infrastructure needs.
“With 80 percent of the U.S. population living in or near urban centers, urban agriculture can make a significant positive impact on the health and well-being of many individuals,” said Leslie Glover II, the new program manager for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. “Empowering communities to grow local, healthy food goes a long way towards solving issues of food justice and access.”
A pre-recorded webinar will be made available providing more information on the USDA grants being offered. The webinar will explain the purpose of the grants, along with project types and eligibility requirements. Once the webinar is posted it will be available to access online.