The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of up to $80 million in funding for integrated projects to increase sustainable production of food and agricultural products. Funding is made through a new program in NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program. AFRI is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, which aims to address challenges in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences.
The SAS program focuses on system-level approaches that promote transformational changes in food and agricultural systems within the next 25 years. The program supports trans-disciplinary projects that aim to transform agricultural systems that provide safe, nutritious, abundant and affordable food for a growing population while enhancing economic opportunities for Americans, especially those in rural areas.
Applications are solicited for projects focused on increasing agricultural productivity; optimizing water and nitrogen use efficiency; protecting yield losses from stresses, diseases and pests; reducing food-borne diseases; and advancing development of biobased fuels, chemicals and coproducts.
Eligible applicants include colleges and universities, 1994 land-grant institutions and Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities. NIFA reviews all proposals accepted in NIFA’s competitive grant programs through an external peer review process. Specific details on panel meetings, review formats and evaluation criteria may vary among programs.
A letter of intent is a prerequisite for the submission of an application. The deadline to submit a letter of intent is June 27, 2018.
The deadline for applications is Oct. 10, 2018.
See the SAS Program Request for Applications for more details.