Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA investments designed to support the U.S. specialty crops industry. The launch of the Assisting Specialty Crop Exports Initiative will provide $65 million for projects that will help the specialty crop sector increase global exports and expand access to new markets.
USDA also announced $72.9 million in grant funding available to support the specialty crops industry through the Specialty Crop Grant Program. The program will fund innovative projects designed to bolster the competitiveness of the expanding specialty crops sector. Specialty crop exports totaled $24.6 billion in fiscal year 2023 and represented 13.8 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports.
“Specialty crop producers feed our nation and the world with nutritious fruits, nuts, and vegetables, and they supply our communities with horticulture products,” Vilsack says. “Yet they have unique challenges and opportunities to competing in the domestic market and several barriers preventing their products from entering foreign markets.”