The Organic Center has received a $5,000 matching grant from San Francisco-based RSF Social Finance to pursue organic solutions for citrus greening disease.
The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit has been seeking donations from the public. Once matched, the grant will help fund a multi-year study on citrus greening. RSF Social Finance is also offering a matching challenge for another $5,000, according to a news release.
The Organic Center launched the study in July to find methods to prevent and treat citrus greening without chemicals or genetic engineering. The organization is pursuing $310,000 in funding.
Along with its search for donations the center is sponsoring a social media campaign, #SaveOrganicCitrus. UNFI Foundation provided a $45,000 grant. Corporate donors include Cal-Organic Farms, Caito Foods, Organically Grown Co., Ecosa Properties, Better Life Organics, Four Seasons Produce Inc., Heath & Lejeune, Global Organics and RSF Social Finance. About 40 individuals have contributed.
“We need to find organic solutions to help citrus growers fight this devastating disease, and the contributions from RSF and other concerned donors, will move us closer to achieving that goal,” Jessica Shade, director of science programs for The Organic Center, said in the release.
Existing approaches to citrus greening are not an option for organic growers, according to the group. The center is administered by the Organic Trade Association.