Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure ProgramPosted on Aug 3, 2023 in Main
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is administering the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). The purpose of the RFSI program is to develop and administer state-coordinated initiatives to build the resilience of the state’s food supply chain for food crops. Hawai‘i has been earmarked for $3.2 million in block grant funding which requires HDOA to conduct outreach to stakeholders to determine the priorities for the state application.
The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is seeking public comments through Aug. 11, 2023, on funding priorities for the (RFSI).
In partnership with the USDA, the HDOA will administer competitive solicitation to award grants to support infrastructure in the middle of the supply chain for local food and farm businesses and other eligible entities.
Funds will support expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally produced food products, including specialty crops, dairy, aquaculture, and other food products, excluding meat and poultry. Examples of eligible project objectives include:
- Modernizing processing and manufacturing equipment
- Supporting the construction of a new facility
- Modernizing or expanding an existing facility
- Improving operations through training opportunities
- Modernizing manufacturing, tracking, storage, and information technology systems
- Improving the capacity to comply with federal, state, and local food safety requirements
- Enhancing worker safety through the adoption of new technologies or investment in equipment or facility improvements
For a full description of program objectives and eligible projects, visit the USDA RFSI program factsheet at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/RFSIFactSheet.pdf
Frequently asked questions for the RFSI may be found at: https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/files/2023/08/RFSI_FAQs_072423.pdf
At this phase in the process, HDOA is collecting public comments about needs in the local agricultural and food sector to define funding priorities for the forthcoming grant program. All interested parties may submit comments to [email protected] beginning July 26, 2023, through August 11, 2023, until 4:30 p.m. HST. The input received will be reviewed and utilized to determine Hawai‘i’s priorities and will be submitted to the USDA.
A public listening sessions was held in-person and virtually on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.
A video of the listening session has been posted on the HDOA YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu8ne-a4cg_kW3G-95P27KA
Phone – (808) 973-9595
email: [email protected]