In-Brief

USDA opens call for grants to boost rural area economies

José Otero-García, Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) José Otero-García, Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the agency is seeking applications for grants that will be awarded to organizations to provide critical financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop and strengthen their capacity to carry out housing, community facilities and community and economic development projects.

“Many rural nonprofits often need capital and technical assistance to carry out their missions,” Vilsack said. “These grants will provide both of these components through local and regional organizations that are experts at delivering such services.”

José Otero-García, Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico, said that USDA is making nearly $6 million available nationwide to qualified organizations under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI).

The RCDI has already made a mark on the island, granting $240,000 to the Puerto Rico Community Foundation to provide technical assistance and capacity building to Corporación para el Desarrollo Económico in Ceiba, Encubadora Microempresa Bieke in Vieques and Centro Mujer y Nueva Familia, Inc. in Barranquitas. These investments will help the trio of nonprofits increase their economic growth.

The deadline for submitting RCDI application is Nov. 12. Applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development state office.

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