February 3, 2015
On Monday, February 1, USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Food Security Challenge Area. The AFRI Food Security Program provides grants for research, education, and extension projects, with the long-term goal to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and the availability and accessibility of safe and nutritious food. This program now will also support projects that seek to develop regionally-adapted crop cultivars and livestock/breeds that contribute to rural economic development and prosperity while enhancing food security. NSAC strongly supports that new focus.
NIFA anticipates that approximately $16.8 million will be available for new awards in FY 2015 in the Food Security area. Applicants are asked to submit their letters of intent by 5 PM ET on April 2, 2015 to the program area-specific NIFA email contact located in the RFA. Completed proposals are due by 5 PM ET June 4, 2015 via a Grants.gov electronic submission.
Program Area Priorities
Applicants must address one of the following priority areas in their research proposal:
In addition to Conference grants and Food and Agriculture Science Enhancement (FASE) grants, the Agricultural Production Systems priority is anticipated to fund six to seven Coordinated Agriculture Project (CAP) grants for applicants addressing either crop management systems, animal management systems, and integrated crop and livestock management systems. These proposals can receive up to $1,000,000 in funding and should utilize system innovation to provide solutions for the problems threatening the sustainability of US agriculture production.
Two to three CAP awards are anticipated for research and education for Breeding and Genomics of Crops and Livestock in order to enhance regional resilience and food security. These projects are expected to lead to the development of cultivars and/or livestock breeds that are able to resist or tolerate current threats to production and can receive up to $3,000,000 per grant. Projects that develop tools and resources to enable discovery and advanced breeding of crops and/or breeds with strong potential to meet the program goals are encouraged.
Lastly, projects developing a National Strategy for Sustainable Crop and Livestock Production will be awarded through standard grants with up to $500,000 funding.
In addition to the 2015 priorities, this challenge area also supports ongoing research, education, and extension programs through continuation awards to previously funded projects. Past focuses include climate adaptation and mitigation, translational genomics to improve disease resistance and improve fertility in animals, minimizing impacts from fungal pathogens, plant pathogen management, integrated pest management, and supporting sustainable food systems to improve food security.
To apply for an AFRI food security grant, follow the application instructions and guidelines outlined in the FY15 AFRI Food Security Request for Proposals.