7 CFR § 3430.201 - Purpose.

§ 3430.201 Purpose.

(a) Focus areas. The purpose of this program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by developing and disseminating science-based tools to address needs of specific crops and their regions, including the following five focus areas:

(1) Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics, such as -

(i) Product, taste, quality, and appearance;

(ii) Environmental responses and tolerances;

(iii) Nutrient management, including plant nutrient uptake efficiency;

(iv) Pest and disease management, including resistance to pests and diseases resulting in reduced application management strategies; and

(v) Enhanced phytonutrient content.

(2) Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators.

(3) Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing).

(4) New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening.

(5) Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production and processing of specialty crops, including fresh produce.

(b) Other. NIFA will award research and extension, including integrated, grants to eligible institutions listed in § 3430.203. In addition to the focus areas identified in this section, NIFA may include additional activities or focus areas that will further address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry. Some of these activities or focus areas may be identified by stakeholder groups or by NIFA in response to emerging critical needs of the specialty crop industry.

(c) In addition to SCRI grants, NIFA will make competitive research and extension grants under the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension program (see § 3430.209).

[74 FR 45740, Sept. 4, 2009, as amended at 81 FR 6414, Feb. 8, 2016]

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