WASHINGTON —The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) awarded more than $591,000 in Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to South Carolina. This USDA grant will help the South Carolina Department of Agriculture fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state and support growers through marketing, education, and research.
“USDA applauds South Carolina’s continued commitment to supporting our nation’s producers of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The projects funded will foster innovative research and new market opportunities within the specialty crop sector, while furthering USDA’s goals of creating a more fair and equitable food system and supporting local and regional producers.”
The SCBGP will fund 13 projects through the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Among the projects is more than $57,000 in funding allocated to Ace Basin Growers, a non-profit organization, which will work to enhance competitiveness of specialty crop growers in South Carolina through a collaborative multi-organizational project. Additionally, more than $49,000 has been allocated to develop a novel preharvest spray program to improve the yield of marketable peaches at harvest. SCBGP funding will also be used to fund specialty crop focused research programs at Clemson University.
“Specialty Crop Block Grants allow us to help farmers across South Carolina realize their goals of increased production and market expansion,” said South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “Through targeted funding, we’re improving access to fresh, locally grown food for South Carolinians and helping open up opportunities for farms of all sizes.”
The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, and FY2022 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning Sept. 30, 2022.
More information about these awards is available on this webpage: 2022 SCBGP Awarded Grants (pdf).