Value-Added Producer Grants Available for Ag Producers
Hilo, Hawaii, May 22, 2015 – State Director Chris J. Kanazawa today announced that $30 million available to farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs to develop new product lines. Funding will be made available through USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.
“The Value Added Producers Grant (VAPG) program not only enables farmers and ranchers with opportunities to increase their income from their farming activities, it also increases jobs and expands the food choices for Hawaii’s families” said Chris Kanazawa, State Director for USDA Rural Development. “Hawaii’s agriculture community has demonstrated a long history of innovation and the VAPG program provides an excellent resource to perpetuate this tradition.”
USDA plans to make approximately $30 million in grants available. Applications will be accepted through July 8, 2015. More information on how to apply can be found on page 26528 of the May 8, 2015 Federal Register (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-05-08/pdf/2015-10440.pdf ).
VAPG grants can be used to develop new product lines from raw agricultural products or additional uses for already developed product lines. Military veteran, socially-disadvantaged, and beginning farmers and ranchers; operators of small- and medium-sized family farms and ranches; farmer and rancher cooperatives; and for applicants that propose mid-tier value chain projects are given special priority in applying for VAPGs. Additional priority is given to group applicants who seek funding for projects that “best contribute” to creating or increasing marketing opportunities for these type of operators.
In fiscal year 2013, for example, Kahuku Farms received a $ 207,044 working capital Value-Added Producer Grant to expand their Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Butter and Lilikoi Jelly market.
In fiscal year 2014, Emily Taaroa, dba Punachicks Farm, received a $20,000 working capital Value-Added Producer Grant to market fresh, locally grown chicken as an alternative to imported factory farm products. The grant funds expands production, improves packaging, and develops better delivery of goods to restaurants, stores and individual consumers throughout the state of Hawaii.
For more information on the VAPG program, please contact one of the following Business Programs Specialist:
• Shirley Heatherly at (808) 541-2600, ext. 139 or firstname.lastname@example.org for Oahu, Kauai; and American Samoa,
• Lori Nekoba at (808) 933-8312 or email@example.com for Maui and Hawaii County
• Anthony Barcinas at (671) 300-8567 or firstname.lastname@example.org for Western Pacific
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way-strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.
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