The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Market Development Branch is currently accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) Fiscal Year 2023. The HDOA will be awarding a total of approximately $450,000 to Hawai‘i proposals that enhance the competitiveness of Hawai‘i specialty crops. Project awards may range up to $50,000. Under the program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allocated funding to each state based on the value of the specialty crops produced in the state.
Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Much of Hawai‘i’s diversified agriculture falls under this specialty crop designation. Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops.
The primary goal of this grant program is to support projects that could provide the highest measurable benefits or return on investment to the specialty crop segment in Hawai‘i. Projects must enhance the competitiveness of Hawai‘i-grown specialty crops, in either the domestic or foreign markets. Preference will be given to projects that measurably increase the production and/or consumption of specialty crops, and/or foster the development of fledging crops and organic operations.
Information on the Request for Proposals (RFP23-03-MDB) is available on the State Procurement Office website at: https://hands.ehawaii.gov/hands/opportunities/opportunity-details/22443
The application deadline is noon on March 3, 2023.
Market Development Branch contact: Yukashi Smith (808) 973-9627.
Those interested in applying for this grant may view the informational webinar recording at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOwX6vfATXM
Last year, HDOA awarded a total of $398,906 to 10 projects ranging from pest management for the avocado production, floriculture marketing, and programs to help the cultivation of several vegetable and fruit crops, including breadfruit, celery and cilantro, sweet potato, melons, and mushrooms.
More information on the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is available at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp