The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). These grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enhance the competitiveness of the Arkansas specialty crop industry. Specialty crops are defined by USDA as fruits, vegetables, horticulture, floriculture, and tree nuts.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture uses a two-phase application process for administering the grant funds. Project concept proposals outlining the project’s goals, tasks, and budget requirement must be submitted HERE by April 16.

After all concept proposals are reviewed by an advisory committee, selected projects will be invited to submit detailed project proposals. Applicants are encouraged to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:

Increasing sales and marketability and driving demand for specialty crops;

  Increasing consumption of specialty crops in Arkansas’ schools by expanding child knowledge and/or improving access to the nutritional benefits of specialty crops;

  Increasing access to local healthy foods; research projects focused on helping specialty crop growers reduce financial costs, improve pest and disease management, and/or value-added products; and enhancing specialty crop food safety.

More information about the grant is available in the full Request for Applications (RFA).