USDA Seeks Applications for $5.8M in Grants to Provide Support to Cooperatives
SAN JUAN – U.S. Agricultural Under Secretary Lisa Mensah announced Monday that $5.8 million nationwide in funding is available to help start, improve or expand cooperative businesses in rural areas.
“Cooperatives have long been a key resource for small and midsized producers working together to access new markets or to market value added products,” Mensah said in the published announcement. “This funding helps them continue their crucial role supporting farmers and other businesses that create jobs, provide services and improve the quality of life in rural America.”
José Otero-García, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico, indicated that the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG) provides funding to nonprofit cooperative development centers and higher learning institutions. Grants may be awarded for up to $200,000 and matching funds are required equal to 25% of the total project cost. Examples of work that the centers can do are: Conducting feasibility studies, developing business plans, providing leadership and operational improvement training, and facilitating strategic planning.
For more information on how to apply for the RCDG grants, call Danna Quiles, Business & Cooperative Program director at Puerto Rico State Office, at (787) 766-5095 X 172, 173, 174 or 175.