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Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities Program Area

The Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities (AERC) program area of the AFRI Foundational Program was established to promote economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable agriculture and resilient rural communities. 

Challenges facing the agricultural sector and rural communities, the production and consumption of food, and management of natural resources and the environment continue to evolve. Increasing global demands for food production in the face of limited resources and changing climate will have major implications for how we use natural resources, engage in healthy diets, invest in science, and foster economic opportunities and quality of life for rural America.

The AERC program area supports rigorous economic and social science research that informs decision making, policy design, and implementation to enhance the sustainability of agricultural production systems and natural resources, promote rural economic development and prosperity, enhance quality of life, and alleviate poverty. Topical issues include, but are not limited to, the examining agricultural markets and international trade; commodity policy, crop insurance, and policy design and impact; market structure and performance in the food system and value chain; interactions between agriculture and the environment; rural economic development and well-being; food security; consumer preferences, behavior and market development; and decision-making under uncertainty. The AERC program area supports social and behavioral science disciplines. Interdisciplinary efforts involving social and biophysical/natural science disciplines are also invited. Applicants are encouraged to consult the challenges and research topics defined in the report from the Council on Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics: “Agriculture and Applied Economics Priorities and Solutions.”

In FY 2019, each application must address one of the following eight program area priorities:

More Information

Request for Applications


Program type
Grant Program
Program Specific Resources

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