PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island is offering grants to help grow local farm and food businesses and increase the competitiveness of their products in the marketplace.

The Department of Environmental Management says $380,000 is available through two grant programs that have invested about $3 million in the state.

DEM Director Janet Coit says farming and fishing are increasingly vital to the state’s economy and the grants will help businesses start or expand their operations.

The Local Agriculture and Seafood Act grant program is a public-private partnership administered jointly with the Rhode Island Food Policy Council. Grants of up to $20,000 are available. The deadline is March 1.

The Farm Viability grant program is through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Grants of $10,000 to $50,000 are available. The deadline is March 31.

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