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USDA opens call to fund new product development, marketing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened a call for applications for grants to help agricultural producers and small rural businesses develop and market new products.

Some $33 million in grants is available under the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. The agency may also utilize any funding that becomes available through enactment of Fiscal 2021 appropriations, the agency noted.

The grants may be used to develop new products from raw agricultural products or to promote new markets for established products. Veterans, socially disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches, and farmer and rancher cooperatives are given special priority.

USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico Josué E. Rivera said that in October 2020, the island received more than $2.3 million for 11 rural business and agricultural producers.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to expands their markets and businesses with these VAPG grants,” Rivera said.

The application deadline is March 16, 2021 for the electronic version and March 22, 2021 for the paper version.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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