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AFRI Sustainable Agricultural Systems

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program area promotes the sustainable supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food and other agricultural products, while enhancing economic opportunities and improving the long-term health and well-being of all Americans.

SAS seeks to help transform the U.S. food and agricultural system to increase production in sustainable ways as we approach a world population of 9.8 billion by 2050, and doing so in the context of diminishing land and water resources, changing climate and increasing frequency of extreme weather events, threats of outbreaks of diseases and pests, and challenges to human health and well-being. Solving these challenges will require a convergence of science and technology to: optimize agricultural productivity; ensure safe, affordable, and nutritious supply of food; invigorate and realize the promise of the bioeconomy; and promote the development of a talented agricultural workforce.

Funding will support 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. This RFA is soliciting creative and visionary project applications that use transdisciplinary teams and integrated research, education, and extension/outreach activities to promote convergence of science and technology to solve present and future food and agricultural production system challenges.

Successful projects will consider what has contributed to present successes of U.S. food and agriculture systems, and challenges to continued and future success. Agricultural systems are inclusive of values chains from production to consumption for food or other products from farms, ranches, and managed forests across the rural-urban continuum from conventional open-fields to controlled production in built environments. Consideration must be given for how new strategies or other technical interventions may alter many factors involved in the conduct of the system. Applicants must demonstrate changes that are crucial to safeguarding the food and agricultural supply while ensuring the viability of the entire value chain. This includes profitability, natural resources quality, food safety and quality, and the health and well-being of people and communities. Additionally, the systems must help develop and execute approaches to reducing the ecological footprint, including, but not limited to, water and nutrient use, greenhouse gases, and energy use.

Request for Applications Links

Previously Funded Projects


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Grant Program

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