WASHINGTON, May 16, 2016 – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced Monday $130 million in funding will be made available for education, research and Cooperative Extension projects that seek to improve plant and animal production systems.

“Investing in agricultural research ensures that our farmers and ranchers have innovative, safe and sustainable management practices to meet the food needs of the rising world population,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a release. Most food security experts agree that the world’s population will eclipse 9 billion people by 2050, putting a greater demand on food production worldwide.

“In addition, studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research now returns over $20 to our economy,” Vilsack added.

The funding will be granted in six priority areas through NIFA’s AFRI Foundational Program. AFRI will dole out $33 million in the area of plant health and production and plant products, $31 million in animal health and production and animal products, $19 million in food safety, nutrition and health, $17 million in agriculture economics and rural communities, $14 million in bioenergy, natural resources and environment, and $11 million in agriculture systems and technology.

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Projects chosen through the Critical Agriculture Research and Extension program will also receive $3 million, and Exploratory Research Program projects will be given $2 million. Additionally, this request for applications includes research topics that eligible national and state commodity boards have proposed to contribute matching funds toward.

The AFRI Foundational program will also be piloting a “Distributed Peer Review” process that NIFA says will make the peer review process of funding applications faster and more cost efficient.

To view the various programs’ application submission deadlines, go here.


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