SC Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

South Carolina Department of Agriculture

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Grant amount: Up to US $45,000

Anticipated deadline: Apr 12, 2020 8:59pm PDT

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity For-Profit Business Nonprofit

Funding uses: Research, Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: South Carolina

Location of residency: South Carolina

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The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) hereby requests applications for projects designed to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in South Carolina. Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds will be made available to South Carolina from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2019 fiscal year budget.

Projects funded by the SCBGP may be 1, 2, or 3 years in length, but must be completed within three years. SCDA will be funding projects for this RFA between September 30, 2019 and September 29, 2022. Upon notification of inclusion in the accepted State Plan, pre-award costs are allowable if necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of the project work up to 90 calendar days prior to the start date without prior approval.

Specialty Crops

Specialty crops are defined by law as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall consist of greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water. For purposes of the SCBGP, honey is considered to be a horticultural crop and is therefore a specialty crop. A complete list of USDA AMS approved specialty crops can be found here.  

Project Types

The USDA encourages each state department of agriculture to develop projects solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:

  • Enhancing food safety
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, for example, developing “Good Agricultural Practices”, “Good Handling Practices”, “Good Manufacturing Practices”, and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops
  • Pest and disease control
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems
  • Sustainability

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applications will only be accepted from producer, industry or community-based organizations involved with specialty crops. Each application must describe a project that will:
    • Clearly demonstrate that the purpose is to enhance the competitiveness of a specialty crop industry in South Carolina
    • Only use funds for activities benefitting specialty crops
    • Benefit more than one individual, institution or organization. 


  • Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.


  • Grantees are not eligible to receive indirect costs through the SCDA SCBGP.
  • Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual
  • In addition, recipients and sub recipients cannot use grant funds to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent products or services.