“Urban agriculture can play an important role in food justice and equity,” says Gloria Montaño Greene, the Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “Such projects have the potential to educate, innovate, and unify communities to improve nutrition and food access and increase local food production in urban areas.”
We agree at Edible East Bay, where, since we launched in 2005, we have covered many valuable urban agriculture projects that have grown considerably in scope, becoming important contributors to local food security and equity in our communities. Read these stories in our directory, and if you are part of an urban agriculture or food security project, here’s a chance to apply for some funding:
The USDA is recognizing the potential by making up to $4 million available for grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects.
“With 80% of the U.S. population living in or near urban centers, urban agriculture can make a significant positive impact on the health and well-being of many individuals,” said Leslie Glover II, the new program manager for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. “Empowering communities to grow local, healthy food goes a long way towards solving issues of food justice and access.”
If you are involved with a local urban agriculture project, take a look at two categories under the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production competitive grant opportunity: Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until 9pm Pacific Time on July 30, 2021.
Planning Projects initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders in urban and suburban areas. Projects may target areas of food access, education, business, and start-up costs for new farmers, urban agroforestry or food forests, and development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production.
Implementation Projects accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor, and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers. Projects will improve local food access and collaborate with partner organizations and may support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, educational endeavors, and urban farming policy implementation.
Webinar: A pre-recorded webinar will provide an overview of the grants’ purpose, project types, eligibility, and basic requirements for submitting an application. The webinar will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.
More Information: Representatives from agencies throughout USDA play a critical role in successfully servicing urban customers. Other engagement and cooperative agreement opportunities are available in addition to the UAIP grants. More information is available at farmers.gov/urban.
Additional resources that may be of interest to urban agriculture entities include NIFA grants, FSA loans and AMS grants to improve domestic and international opportunities for U.S. growers and producers.
In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.