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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems

Deadline: June 4, 2019

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) provides funding for fundamental and applied research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. Within AFRI, the longterm purpose is to help transform the U.S. food and agricultural system to increase production in sustainable ways as the world approaches a population of 10 billion by 2050, and to do so in the context of diminishing land and water resources, climate variability, threats of disease and pest outbreaks, and challenges to human health and well-being.

Solving these challenges will require a convergence of science, technology, and policy to improve agricultural productivity; ensure a safe, affordable, and nutritious supply of food; invigorate and realize the promise of the bioeconomy; and promote the development of a talented agricultural workforce. Applications must focus on systems approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agricultural system within the context of the longterm goals:

  • Increase profitability in agriculture by reducing input use, expanding existing and creating new markets, increasing productivity, and curbing production losses due to environmental and biological stresses, including pests and diseases
  • Foster economic development and prosperity in rural America by catalyzing the bioeconomy through value added innovation, including production of high-value bio-based chemicals and other products using agricultural feedstocks
  • Enhance the contribution of food and agriculture to health of the nation through development, adoption, and application of new or existing technologies, tools, education, and other resources to ensure access to sufficient quantities of safe, nutritious, and affordable food

Applicants should take a systems approach for significantly improving the supply of affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible agricultural products, while fostering economic development and rural prosperity in America. These approaches must demonstrate current needs and anticipate future social, cultural, behavioral, economic, health, and environmental impacts. Additionally, the outcomes of the work being proposed should result in societal benefits, including promotion of rural prosperity and enhancement of quality of life for all those involved in food and agricultural value chains from production to utilization and consumption.

Amount: Approximately $90,000,000 is available for awards of up to $10,000,000 each.

Eligibility: Dependent upon project type, as follows:

  • Research, Education, or Extension Projects: State Agricultural Experiment Station; colleges and universities (including junior colleges offering associate degrees or higher); university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies and national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents; and any group consisting of two or more entities.
  • Integrated Projects: Colleges and universities; 1994 Land-Grant Institutions; and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities.
  • Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants: Under the FASE program, only Strengthening Coordinated Agricultural Projects are being solicited. Strengthening grants are limited to: small and mid-sized or minority-serving degree-granting institutions that previously had limited institutional success for receiving Federal funds; or State Agricultural Experiment Stations or degree-granting institutions eligible for USDA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) funding.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=314379

Note: The June 4, 2019 deadline is for Letters of Intent (LOI). The deadline for full applications is September 26, 2019.

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