USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $150.2 million is available to support projects that build a foundation of knowledge in agricultural sciences to address a range of societal and global challenges such as food security, food safety, sustainable agriculture, and rural entrepreneurship. Funding is made through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
“The global population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, and agricultural output may need to increase substantially to meet the demand,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “To ensure nutritional security, it is imperative to develop innovative technologies and sustainable management strategies for livestock, crops, and critical underlying resources.”
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is America’s flagship competitive grants program that provides funding for foundational and translational research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. The AFRI Foundational RFA supports six priorities of the 2014 Farm Bill: plant health, production, and plant products; animal health, production, and animal products; food safety, nutrition, and health; bioenergy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. In addition, it supports Critical Agricultural Research and Extension as well as Exploratory Grants Programs. AFRI projects address key agricultural, food, and natural resource problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance.
New this year, the AFRI Foundational RFA welcomes workshop proposals to catalyze activities for harnessing big data to synthesize new knowledge, to make predictive decisions, and to foster data-driven innovation in agriculture. This new focus area aligns with NIFA’s Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT) initiative, which supports data-enabled solutions for addressing complex problems facing contemporary agriculture.
This year’s AFRI Foundational RFA also seeks applications to develop a U.S. animal vaccinology research network to help leverage U.S. expertise and encourage mutually beneficial international linkages to develop new vaccine tools and technologies.
Commodity boards are partnering with NIFA through this AFRI RFA to provide matching funds that will accelerate agricultural research. The National Peanut Board will co-fund AFRI projects on innovations in disease and pest management in peanut production. The Mushroom Council will co-fund projects to enhance nutrient quality, taste, and consumer acceptance of mushroom/protein blends.
Deadlines vary by program, see the request for applications for details.
Source: USDA NIFA