Dr. Lila Karki,  an assistant professor of agricultural economics and program evaluation specialist for UMES Extension, is the recipient of a nearly $30,000 Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education grant.  His project, “Increasing Efficiency and Decision-Making Capability of Small, Socially Disadvantaged and Minority Farmers,” was among 29 proposals out of 49 that received funding through its 2021 Partnership Grant Program

The yearlong project aims to educate the targeted groups of farmers, especially those growing specialty crops and vegetables, about the basics of farm production economics and management, Karki said.  The activities mainly include farm data recording and analysis, production of extension educational materials, market surveys of specialty crops, hands-on training regarding farm business management of agricultural enterprises, and development of farm business plans.

“The proposed activities directly support sustainable agriculture aspects to improve the productivity of specialty crops and vegetables, reduce production costs, increase net farm income, enhance rural employment opportunities and enhance the quality of life for the farm community,” Karki said.

Gail Stephens, agricultural communications, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, gcstephens@umes.edu., 410-621-3850.

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