NIFA Seeks Research Topics from Commodity Boards for FY 2017 AFRI Program
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is reaching out to eligible national and state commodity boards, and marketing orders to propose topics for research under its FY2017 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grants program.
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), established by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill, is the nation’s premier peer reviewed competitive grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences. AFRI-funded science is vital to meeting food, fiber, and fuel demands as the world’s population races toward a projected nine billion by 2050, diminishing land and water resources, and increasingly variable climatic conditions. In addition, AFRI programs help develop new technologies and a workforce that will advance our national security, our energy self-sufficiency, and the health of Americans.
This is the second year NIFA has implemented the 2014 Farm Bill commodity board provision, which is enhancing collaboration between the Agency and commodity groups as well as leveraging additional funds for critical research in areas of common interest. Proposed topics may be chosen for inclusion under a specific priority area of an AFRI RFA (Request for Applications).
In FY 2016, the first year of collaboration with commodity boards, seven topics from five commodity boards were integrated into two AFRI RFAs: the Foundational Program RFA and the Food Security Challenge Area RFA. The five boards included the Kansas Wheat Commission, the National Pork Board, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, the Washington State Potato Commission and the National Peanut Board. Collectively, these five commodity boards have offered $1.7 million for research projects to be funded on topics proposed by the boards: novel pre-breeding applications for quality enhancement in hard red winter wheat; breeding for genetic resistance to wheat viruses; evaluation of various compounds as alternatives to antibiotics to treat and prevent disease in pork production; environmental influence on phenomics in crop improvement and production; understanding soil ecology to manage potato soil health; drought tolerance and efficient use of water resources in peanuts; and improved peanut and food allergy diagnostic methods. Applicants interested in these topics are encouraged to learn more about these grant opportunities at AFRI Request for Applications and contact the respective board to discuss their applications.
FY17 Federal Register Notice “Solicitation of Commodity Board Topics and Contribution of Funding Under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program,” published May 18, invites topic submissions from eligible commodity boards and marketing orders, outlines the process NIFA will use to evaluate the appropriateness of these topics for inclusion in AFRI Request for Applications, and describes the commitment commodity boards will be required to make in order for NIFA to jointly fund AFRI applications competitively selected for award within a topic area submitted by the commodity boards.
Eligible commodity boards and marketing orders must address an agricultural commodity that:
- Includes a combination of promotion, research, industry information, or consumer information activities;
- Is funded by mandatory assessments on producers or processors; and
- Is designed to maintain or expand markets and uses for the commodity (as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture).
Boards can propose topics with contributed funding amounts that vary depending on AFRI priority areas, up to $2.5 million; no more than $10 million can be contributed from any one board. Boards are encouraged to visit the NIFA Commodity Boards web page for more information on these areas and details on the topic submission process.
An informational webinar is planned for June 1, 2-3:30 p.m. (EST).
- Call in number: 1 888 844 9904
- Participant access code: 1658110#
For more information about the 2014 Farm Bill: Implementation of Commodity Boards Provision and about NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (AFRI), visit NIFA Commodity Boards web page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wide dissemination of this notice is encouraged.