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RI groups getting $205K to boost specialty crops

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October 30, 2013 10:47 AM EST | AP


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Several Rhode Island organizations are getting a total of $205,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture funds to promote specialty crops.

The awards from the Specialty Crop Block Grant program were announced by the state Department of Environmental Management.

Farm Fresh Rhode Island is getting $50,000 to increase specialty crop purchases by public schools. The African Alliance of Rhode Island is getting $20,000 to provide greater access to African vegetables, including by creating African vegetable markets in pilot corner stores in African and Latino neighborhoods.

The University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension is getting $31,865 to improve the yield and quality of melons by testing innovative ways to protect them from certain beetles.

Under the program, specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts and nursery crops.