Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

The RIDEM/Division of Agriculture is pleased to announce the availability of Farm Viability grant funds for the purpose of enhancing the Competitiveness of Specialty Crops grown in Rhode Island.

Specialty crops are defined by this federally supported program as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, and nursery crops including floriculture such as Christmas Trees, cut flowers, honey, hops, and turf grass production. Examples of enhancing the market competitiveness of specialty crops include, but are not limited to: Research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, "buy local" programs, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, and developing cooperatives. Please view USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for a comprehensive list of eligible specialty crops, ineligible commodities, and examples of projects that enhance the competiveness of specialty crops under the SCBGP.

Grant Round Open

2024 Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications are due February 28, 2024

DEM anticipates that approximately $270,000 will be awarded to projects enhancing the competitiveness of Rhode Island specialty crops. A maximum grant award does not exist and neither DEM nor the SCBGP requires a cost sharing or matching requirement.

During the 2021 and 2023 funding cycles, the average amount of funding, per award, totaled $36,772 and $30,466, respectively. All projects are subject to the availability of funds. Grant funds for SCBGP projects cannot be expended before September 30, 2024, and a Purchase Order issued to the recipient from the State of Rhode Island. No funds can be expended after September 29, 2027. DEM reserves the right to offer an award amount less than the amount requested.

Questions regarding this grant and/or the competitive solicitation process should be directed by email to DEM.SpecialtyCrop@dem.ri.gov or by telephone at (401) 222-2781.

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Specialty Crop Block Grant Program - Mini Grant Program

RIDEM is administered a mini-grant program for eligible expenses related to COVID-19 to benefit the production and distribution of Rhode Island specialty crops, which include fruits, vegetables, nuts, horticulture, and floriculture. Throughout the pandemic, three areas have impacted Rhode Island Specialty crop production and marketing – Food Safety, Digital Marketing, and direct COVID-19 expenses.


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