NIFA and Feed the Future
The Feed the Future (FTF) program is the U.S. government's global food security initiative. FTF pursues two primary goals:(1) addressing the root causes of hunger that limit the potential of millions of people; and (2) establishing a lasting foundation for change by aligning resources with country-owned processes and sustained, multi-stakeholder partnerships. FTF also confronts the growing challenges of global poverty, disease, water scarcity, climate change and depleting natural resources.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) leads FTF efforts in several focus countries. NIFA assists by planning FTF programs. NIFA’s land-grant partners and other universities are also involved, especially in shaping the FTF research agenda.
NIFA’s involvement ensures that the breadth of U.S.-focused research, extension, education and international programs, networks of university experts, and science-based knowledge systems are open to mutually beneficial international engagement opportunities. Science partnerships that cross borders often benefit U.S. agriculture by advancing the science needed here at home while also promoting the science that’s needed to strengthen food security overseas.
NIFA supports Feed the Future in a variety of ways:
- We now allow Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) applicants to propose international partnerships as part of their applications, so long as such partnerships further the goals of AFRI. The same language encourages applicants to view the FTF web site in case applicants wish to work with the FTF countries in mind.
- We continue to lead discussions and to help the rebuilding of Haiti’s (a FTF focus
country) agricultural education and outreach capacity at schools and universities.
- We help to plan FTF research and shape research priorities within the overall FTF agenda, specifically within the Norman C. Borlaug Research Initiative. The Borlaug Initiative is a collaborative effort between USDA and USAID that focuses on such priorities as improving grain legume productivity, addressing food safety, post harvest losses and mycotoxins, enhancing animal production and protection, and strengthening resistance to wheat rusts.
- We ensure that less traditional but significant dimensions of agricultural development are considered in FTF planning, including:
- extension services (including but not limited to web-based eXtension delivery systems)
- positive youth development services
- nutrition education approaches
- disaster planning capabilities
- We also promote FTF investments in higher education and educational enhancement efforts, including student and faculty exchanges, development of institutional leaders, innovations in instructional methods, and online classroom linkages.
- We profile a variety of ongoing NIFA-supported efforts by U.S. universities involving FTF focus countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. While such research, extension and teaching projects were initiated through competitive or formula processes before FTF was implemented, many are relevant to Feed the Future. For example, NIFA’s support of research studies to improve nutritional food aid programs in Bangladesh contributes to overall FTF effectiveness.
For more information about NIFA’s participation in Feed the Future, contact Hiram Larew or call the Center for International Programs at (202) 720-3801. FTF periodically publishes newsletters for the benefit of stakeholders and the interested international community. Link here to download the August 2012 newsletter featuring NIFA’s FTF work. For additional FTF newsletters, visit the Feed the Future website.