USDA awards $30+ million in food safety, plant health grants

February 3, 2016

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced an award of $30.1 million in competitive grants to fund 80 research projects to improve food safety, reduce antibiotic resistance in food, and increase the resilience of plants in the face of climate change. The grants are made possible through U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (USDA AFRI), a peer-reviewed grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences.

AFRI grants are administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which is making the awards through funding provided in fiscal year 2015. NIFA is awarding $15.1 million to fund 35 projects in AFRI’s Food Safety area, focused on enhancing food safety through improved processing technologies, effective mitigation strategies for antimicrobial resistance, improving food safety, and improving food quality. A portion of this—$3.4 million—will be used to address antimicrobial resistance throughout the food chain.

NIFA is also awarding $15 million to universities, laboratories, and research organizations to fund 45 projects in AFRI’s Plant Health and Production and Plant Products area. These grants focus on plant breeding for agricultural production; plant growth and development, composition, and stress tolerance; and photosynthesis and nutrient use in agricultural plants.

Food safety grant press release

Plant health grant press release