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In its efforts to promote sustainability in the Marianas, the CNMI Small Business Development Center at the Northern Marianas College in partnership with the CNMI Department of Lands and Natural Resources – Division of Agriculture and the CNMI Department of Commerce provided assistance to local farmers who are seeking technical assistance in applying for the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program (MGFSP) made available by the US Department of Agriculture. Eligible applicants will be awarded up to $5,000.  

MGFSP assists agricultural agencies or departments in eligible states and territories to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food in food insecure communities through small-scale gardening, herding, and livestock operations by competitively distributing subawards to eligible entities. 

The CNMI SBDC network extended technical assistance for farmers who do not have access to computers or need guidance on the grant application process. Also present at the meetings were Department of Commerce Economic Development Director Jesus Taisague and Economic Development Coordinator Jo Anna Ada. Both Taisague and Ada offered assistance and shared program information.

Jack Ogumoro, the director of the Department of Lands of Natural Resources’s Division of Agriculture, thanked NMC and CNMI SBDC for their assistance.

“I am grateful that they were able to extend their support to our local farmers,” Ogumoro said. “I look forward to their partnerships so we can meet our goal of helping, promoting, and encouraging our local people to farm or continue farming.”

Small business owners are invited to sign up for free one-on-one confidential counseling by visiting marianas.edu/cnmisbdc or marianas.ecenterdirect.com. For more information, please contact the CNMI SBDC Network lead center at (670) 237-6888 or email [email protected]marianas.edu.

The CNMI Small Business Development Center Network (CNMI SBDCN) is hosted by the Northern Marianas College. CNMI SBDCN is partially funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Requests for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. 

Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals with at least two weeks advance notice. For arrangements, please contact CNMI SBDC Interim Network Director, Mercilynn K. Palec through mail at P.O.Box 501250 Saipan, MP 96950, by calling (670) 237-6888, or by emailing [email protected]marianas.edu.  Services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.