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Banana fields in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico

Conservation Innovation Grants - Caribbean

Apply by: April 23, 2023

Caribbean Area NRCS has up to $500,000 in FY 2023 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.

2023 Caribbean CIG 

Applications are requested from eligible government agencies, non-governmental organizations or individuals. CIG will fund single and multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years (anticipated project start date of September 30, 2023). Funds are awarded through a competitive process. The maximum award amount for any individual project will not exceed $100,000 in FY 2023. At least 10 percent of the total funds available for CIG in FY 2023 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 2023 applications is April 23, 2023.

Tractor terminating sunflower cover crop in St. Croix, USVI

Caribbean Area CIG Priorities for 2023

For Fiscal Year 2023, CIG will focus on the following topics – one or more may be selected for proposals:

  1. Interim Practice Validation Data - Infiltration ditch environmental assessment.
  2. Water Quality
    1. Validate technology that helps monitor or capture nutrients and sediments in surface waters that may impact water quality downstream.
    2. Validate field guidelines for Nitrogen Risk Assessment on Nutrient Management Planning.
  3. Climate Change
    1. Validate innovative water management techniques in the Caribbean to increase water infiltration and retention to mitigate for extended drought and climate change.
    2. Validate or develop Carbon Markets Based Economics for Caribbean Area.
  4. Soil Health
    1. Soil Health Management Systems Implementation Trials: Implementation of innovative conservation practices and systems that improve soil health in tropical soils (tropical crops), with the integration of science and technology. The systems need to achieve and target a combination of conservation practices conforming with the four basic Soil Health principles (use plant diversity to increase diversity, reduce soil disturbance, keep plants growing with living roots through the year and keep soil cover as much as possible).
    2. The final product should include guidelines for NRCS field personnel indicating how to combine existing scenarios and new recommended scenarios to existing standards or interim CPS to increase soil health farming enterprises.
  5. Erosion Management and Monitoring on Steep Land
    1. Erosion Management and Implementation Guidelines on and not limited to Steep Farm Roads and Trails or Rock Terraces.
    2. The final product sought are guidelines for NRCS field personnel indicating how to combine existing scenarios and new recommended scenarios to existing standards or interim CPS to reduce/control erosion on steep farming enterprises.
  6. Urban Conservation Soil Test Guidelines
    1. Validate X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) or other technologies to assess heavy metals or other limitations.
    2. Produce local scenarios for urban areas to address Resource Concerns.
  7. Waste Management
    1. Obtain local data on production and nutrient composition of waste produced by animal husbandry practices (dairy, poultry, swine).
    2. Validate technology to manage waste effectively.

More information

For more information on how to apply, including Webinars, Sample grant application documents, and guides to federal grant applications, please visit



  • 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

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 tract number.

If you don’t have a farm tract 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 tract 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.

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.