Written By Marne Coit
According to N.C. State Extension, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), has announced a new round of grant funding that specifically includes support for hemp projects. The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grants Program is intended to fund projects related to research, extension and education. The purpose of AFRI’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) grants is to increase agricultural production while reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. The request for proposals (RFP) specifically states that projects should take a systems approach.
Grants can be used to address a number of goals. One goal is the development of rural economies. In particular, the RFA states that, “Of interest in this theme are industrial hemp projects that examine the supply chain as a system, including breeding, cultivation, feedstock logistics, industrial processing of products and market analysis.” https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/rfa/FY21-AFRI-SAS-RFA-508.pdf
Funding for projects ranges from $1-10 million. Letters of intent are due by Jan. 7, 2021. The deadline for the full application is April 1, 2021.
Additional information can be found on USDA’s website.