$4.2 million in grants for food chain supply improvements distributed

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 484 views 

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program. More than $4.2 million will be awarded to subgrantees to improve food supply chain operations and strengthen local food systems in Arkansas.

Applications will be accepted through Feb. 16.

“The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to help administer the RFSI grant program and looks forward to seeing its positive impacts on our state’s largest industry,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “These funds will strengthen Arkansas agriculture by supporting investments to enhance supply chain operations and equipping producers with tools to expand the local food system.”

The department is offering two grant types under the RFSI program – infrastructure grants and simplified equipment-only grants. Applicants may apply for one grant type only.

Infrastructure grant funding will support projects focused on the processing, aggregation, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products as part of the RFSI program. Eligible entities include agricultural producers, processors, nonprofit organizations, local governments, tribal governments, and institutions.

The department will use a two-phase application process for administering the infrastructure grant funds. Project concept proposals outlining the project’s goals, tasks, and budget requirements must be submitted by February 16. After all concept proposals are reviewed by an advisory committee, selected projects will be invited to submit detailed project proposals.

Simplified equipment-only grants are dedicated to benefitting producers directly for on-farm, middle-of-the-supply-chain equipment. The equipment-only grant will provide a walk-in cooler to awarded producers for on-farm use as part of the RFSI program. Applications will be reviewed by an advisory committee.