Farmers in Scotland can apply for grants of up to £5,000 for projects promoting locally sourced food and drink.
A total of £250,000 is available for the Connect Local Regional Food Fund, which will help collaborative projects promoting and supporting sales of local produce in Scotland.
The money can be used to fund the development of regional food groups showcasing local food and drink, better promotion of Scottish provenance or the development of new and existing food and drink retail events.
Traditionally, it has been hard to find funding for such projects.
Applications for the scheme can be submitted at any time and will be considered by a panel which will meet three times a year for the next two years.
The scheme is competitive, judging applications on how closely they meet the criteria.
Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of the panel meeting and given a contract to sign.
Half of the money will be available after signing the contract with the balance paid after the project has been completed and a final project report submitted.
The Scottish government has made the funding available to support the food and drink industry’s ambition to double its value to £30bn by 2030.
There is concern that while Scottish food and drink is renowned internationally – for example, through its exports of whisky and salmon – it will be exposed to the effects of Brexit because so much trade is with Europe.
A push is under way to develop the food and drink market further internally.
James Withers, chief executive of promotion body Scotland Food & Drink, said he would encourage people to make the most of the opportunity for the grant.
“Food and drink is a national success story and it is central to Scotland’s economy, but businesses have told us we need to focus more on our home market.
“As a direct result of these conversations, we are delighted to be launching the Regional Food Fund alongside the Scottish government and Connect Local.
“Not only will it will provide funding to those who normally struggle to find it, but it will provide real benefit to local producers and their communities across the country.”