WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of more than $160 million in funding for research, education, and extension projects that address key challenges affecting U.S. agriculture production. NIFA will fund the awards through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).
“The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative was created to find innovative solutions to the challenges we face as a society, such as hunger and food security, health, climate, food safety, and bioenergy,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “We are now in AFRI’s sixth year, and already the program has made strides in advancing agricultural science. I am extremely proud of the work NIFA has funded thus far, and excited to see what groundbreaking research, education, and extension projects will result from this year’s funding. These projects provide funding for the critical research, training, and assistance that ultimately strengthens rural America and our economy.”
NIFA released six separate requests for applications (RFA) through the AFRI program. Five RFAs will support AFRI’s challenge areas: food security, water, childhood obesity prevention, food safety, and climate. The challenge areas fund integrated, applied science that seek to find solutions to societal challenges that impact our ability to feed, clothe, and shelter a rising global population. An additional RFA for the AFRI Foundational program will addresses the six Farm Bill priority areas: 1) plant health and production and plant products; 2) animal health and production and animal products; 3) food safety, nutrition and health; 4) bioenergy, natural resources and environment; 5) agriculture systems and technology; and 6) agriculture economics and rural communities.
Fiscal Year 2015 AFRI RFAs include:
The purpose of AFRI is to support research, education, and extension work by awarding grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture. AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grant program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill and supports work in six priority areas: 1) plant health and production and plant products; 2) animal health and production and animal products; 3) food safety, nutrition and health; 4) bioenergy, natural resources and environment; 5) agriculture systems and technology; and 6) agriculture economics and rural communities.
The 2014 Farm Bill requires NIFA to establish Centers of Excellence for food and agricultural research, education, and extension. Applicants who meet the requirements of this funding opportunity are also eligible to apply for Center of Excellence designation as part of their grant application, which gives them priority consideration during the external peer review process. Information on applying for this designation can be found in the RFA.
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. More information is at: www.nifa.usda.gov.
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