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Banana fields in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico

Conservation Innovation Grants - Caribbean

CIG
Apply by: May 15, 2024

Caribbean Area NRCS has up to $500,000 in FY 2024 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Aerial view of Mt. Toby Farm (left of Connecticut River), in Sunderland, MA, has worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) to create their conservation plan that includes the use of Forage and biomass Planting  (512) and Establish and reseed their cover crop during the cool season, on October 18, 2019. Working with Natural Resource Specialist / Business Tools Coordinator Lisa Gilbert who records the progress with the conservation plan. USDA Photo

Learn More About CIG

Explore the new CIG website to learn about funding opportunities, find grantee resources, access information about past projects, and more.

2024 Caribbean CIG 

Applications are requested from eligible government agencies, non-governmental organizations or groups. CIG will fund single and multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years (awards expected to be executed by July 30, 2024). Funds are awarded through a competitive process. The maximum award amount for any individual project will not exceed $100,000 in FY 2024. At least 10 percent of the total funds available for CIG in FY 2024 will be set aside for proposals from Historically Underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or community-based organizations comprised of or representing these entities. The closing date to submit 2024 applications is May 15, 2024. 

You may apply via grants.gov

2024 Caribbean CIG Orientation Webinar

Join our FY 2024 CIG orientation webinar on April 9, 2024, at 9:00 am AST. The webinar will be held through Microsoft Teams. During this webinar, we will provide a presentation related to the FY 2024 Notice of Funding Opportunity and we will answer your questions regarding the CIG opportunity. 

Please, participate in this webinar if you are interested in submitting a proposal. The presentation will be provided in English, but you are more than welcome to ask your questions in Spanish. 

See webinar presentation here:

Tractor terminating sunflower cover crop in St. Croix, USVI

Caribbean Area CIG Priorities for 2024

For Fiscal Year 2024, CIG will focus on the following topics – one or more may be selected for proposals:

  1. Water Quality
    1. Field testing of conservation practices
    2. Community-level or landscape-level strategies
    3. Development of innovative or repurposed planning tools, guidance documents, or conservation practices implementation scenarios
    4. Field testing of innovative production techniques
    5. Evaluation of enhanced nutrient management technologies
    6. Leveraging of community resources
  2. Water Harvesting on Dry Lands
    1. Field testing of conservation practices
    2. Development of innovative or repurposed planning tools, guidance
      documents, or new conservation practices implementation scenarios
    3. Evaluation of enhanced water harvesting on dry lands technologies
    4. Leveraging of community resources
  3. Climate-Smart Agriculture
    1. Development of innovative or repurposed planning tools, guidance documents, or conservation practices implementation scenarios
    2. Field testing of innovative production techniques
    3. Field testing of conservation practices or implementation scenario validation
    4. Community-level or landscape-level strategies
    5. Communication tools and strategies that help producers interpret local climate related risks
    6. Introduction of new or enhanced cropping systems or non-traditional crops
    7. Introduction of new or enhanced grazing management systems
    8. Introduction of new or enhanced forestry management systems
    9. Improved operation management
    10. Leveraging of community resources
    11. Integration of traditional, cultural or indigenous farming knowledge
  4. Conservation in Urban Agricultural Systems
    1. Demonstration of the natural resource impacts or economic benefits
    2. Projects that show conservation benefits with the implementation of alley
      cropping, multistory cropping, urban forestry, or integrated/mixed systems
    3. Development and evaluation of the effectiveness of innovative management systems or emerging and innovative technologies
    4. Interpreting existing conservation practices
  5. Invasive Species Control
    1. Innovations for private landowners to more effectively prevent, detect, or combat invasive species to maintain healthy and productive working lands
    2. Innovative strategic approaches
    3. Reimagination of existing strategies
    4. Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR)
  6. Innovative Local Scale Waste Management Systems
    1. Field testing of conservation practices
    2. Community-level strategies
    3. Development of innovative or repurposed planning tools, guidance documents, or new conservation practices implementation scenarios
    4. Evaluation of enhanced waste management technologies
    5. Leveraging of community resources

More information

Clink on the link for more information on how to apply to CIG, including webinars, sample grant application documents, and guides to federal grant applications.

You may apply to the FY 2024 CIG via grants.gov.

Publications

Contact

  • Caribbean Area CIG Coordinator: Mario Rodriguez, 787-766-5065, 787-452-5852

Additional Information

Learn about past Caribbean CIG Awardees

Ready to get started?

Contact your local service center to start your application.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

How to Get Assistance

Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?

Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

how to get started

To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.

NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.

We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:

  • To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
  • To meet other eligibility certifications.

Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.

Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.

As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:

  • An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
  • A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
  • A farm number.

If you don’t have a farm number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm number if you’re interested in financial assistance.

NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants. View Application Ranking Dates by State.

If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.

Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.