During the George Washington University Feeding the Planet Summit last week, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah announced partnerships with 10 U.S. universities to improve global food security.
The partnerships are part of the Feed the Future Initiative, and will fund the development of new Innovation Labs to study agronomic solutions for hungry nations.
"Throughout history, our greatest development advances have come from introducing safe, proven and appropriate technologies to the world's most vulnerable people," Shah said during an address at the conference. "Building upon a strong history of research collaboration, these new Feed the Future Innovation Labs will draw on the very best research, extension and education strengths of the U.S. and global university community to improve nutrition, end hunger, and help eradicate extreme poverty around the world."
The labs will be part of the Feed the Future Food Security Innovation Center, launched in 2012, to support innovative research aimed at transforming agricultural production systems through "sustainable intensification." The innovations include ensuring access to nutritious and safe foods, creating enabling and supportive policies, and addressing the emerging challenges of climate change and natural resource scarcity.
The 10 additions announced include: Climate-Resilient Beans, Pennsylvania State University; Climate-Resilient Cowpea, University of California at Riverside; Climate-Resilient Sorghum, the University of Georgia; Applied Wheat Genomics, Kansas State University; Genomics to Improve Poultry, the University of California at Davis; Small-scale Irrigation, Texas A&M University; Climate-Resilient Chickpea (lead university to be awarded); Soy Value Chain Research (lead university to be awarded); Reduced Post-harvest Losses (lead university to be awarded).
These new research labs join the recently announced Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum & Millet, Kansas State University; and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, Michigan State University.