The SCRI program addresses critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:
- Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics
- Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators
- Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing)
- New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening
- Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency,handling and processing of specialty crops.