The purpose of the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:
- Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics
- Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators
- Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing)
- New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening
- Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency, handling and processing of specialty crops
Pre-applications may only be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations, foundations, or corporations, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.