ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a competitive grant program to fund projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The department is accepting applications through May 29.

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It is awarding $450,000 in grants for projects with a minimum level of $15,000.

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The department says special consideration will be given to projects that address food safety and market products with Maryland’s best branding. Special consideration also is being given to projects that have efficient distribution systems.

The department defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.

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