Research

Harnessing scientific innovation and technology in agriculture and nutrition is key to reaching Feed the Future’s core objectives of reducing global hunger, poverty and undernutrition. It's also critical to meeting the global challenges of producing more food with less land and water, improving nutrition, and helping farmers adapt to climate change.

In May 2011, the U.S. Government released the Feed the Future research strategy, informed by a consultative process with USAID, USDA, university partners, and others stakeholders.

Investments under this strategy range from longer-term research to address major global challenges to applied and adaptive research guided by host-country priorities for nearer-term impact. 

Visit our media gallery for more videos on science and technology under Feed the Future.


Learn more:  Feed the Future Food Security Innovation Center  |  Feed the Future Innovation Labs   Scalable Agricultural Technologies Inventory   

Sustainable Intensification

Feed the Future anchors its global research activities in four major agricultural systems with high concentrations of poverty and undernutrition and where we have the opportunity to make a significant impact to improve lives.

This approach incorporates research breakthroughs with management practices, extension and education to fit the local environment.

  • Indogangetic Plains in South Asia
  • Sudano-Sahelian Zone in West Africa
  • Ethiopian Highlands
  • Maize-based Systems in East and South Africa

Learn more about this approach.

Increasing Productivity

To help meet growing global demand for food, Feed the Future research focuses on technologies that have high potential to increase agricultural productivity while at the same time optimizing the use of natural resources. 

Food Safety and Nutrition

To improve food safety and nutrition, Feed the Future research is helping develop technologies and solutions that enhance dietary diversity, increase the availability of nutritious foods and access to them, and reduce the loss and contamination of food after it’s harvested. 

Learn more in this fact sheet. 

Enabling Environment

To help countries improve the necessary conditions for stimulating and sustaining broad-based growth, Feed the Future conducts policy research and outreach around issues affecting food security and economic growth.

  • Agricultural policies (markets, inputs, risk mitigation, finance)
  • Impacts of policies on gender, climate change, and natural resource management
  • Biosafety regulatory policy

Learn more in this fact sheet. 

To improve growth and promote innovation in the agriculture sector over the long term, countries need to build human and institutional capital. Feed the Future works with countries to strengthen their capacity to conduct world-class research and train the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs, technicians, policymakers, managers, and researchers.

Through the Borlaug 21st Century Leadership Program, Feed the Future is:

  • Supporting initiatives to strengthen universities, vocational schools, and technical institutes
  • Supporting strategic planning exercises in institutions and identifying performance gaps that training can address
  • Training and mentoring agricultural researchers
  • Assembling best practices and testing innovative models in research capacity development
  • Supporting strategic planning, donor coordination, and financing for higher education in Africa

Learn more about our work in this area in this fact sheet. 

Addressing hunger, poverty and other major challenges in rural development through agricultural research requires a strong and diverse set of partners. Under Feed the Future, partners from U.S. and host country universities, international agricultural research centers, national agricultural research system (NARS), nongovernmental organizations, and private industry implement programs.

As part of this effort, USAID and USDA are collaborating under the Norman Borlaug Commemorative Research Initiative to address key challenges that both U.S. and developing-country farmers face. Learn more about our collective work in the Partner Highlights and Updates below.

TitleDescription
Request for Applications: Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest ManagementFeed the Future Innovation Labs, formerly known as the Collaborative Research Support Programs, are USAID-funded, long-term, multi-disciplinary applied research and capacity building efforts to address the problems of food insecurity and malnutrition in developing countries. The IPM Innovation Lab, for which applications are requested, will engage U.S. university capacity to conduct research on integrated pest management and address key issues related to the adoption of IPM strategies and technologies by smallholder farmers and other beneficiaries of USAID assistance. Apply by June 24, 2014.
Call for Pre-Proposals: Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain LegumesThe Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes, administered by Michigan State University, invites pre-proposals for a new research and capacity building initiative: Improving the Nutrition of the Poor, Especially Young Children and Women, through Grain Legume Consumption. Apply by September 30, 2013.
Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture ProgramApplications are requested for Sub-Saharan African students conducting research on topics related to the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. Apply by December 1, 2013.
Feed the Future CGIAR-U.S. Universities Linkages ProgramThis program supports collaborative research between U.S. and CGIAR scientists in the seven program areas of the Feed the Future Food Security Innovation Center, providing funds for U.S. university faculty and graduate student exchanges as well as exchanges of USDA and other senior scientists to work on specific research projects.
India-Africa Agriculture Innovation Bridge ProgramThis Annual Program Statement (APS) invites applicants to propose the sharing of proven Indian agriculture innovations in Kenya, Liberia, and Malawi, which are Feed the Future focus countries. The APS is open for submission of concept papers by local Indian organizations until Dec 30, 2013, with four rounds of concept paper submissions on a quarterly basis. Search "APS-386-13-000001" on grants.gov for the announcement.
African Women in Agricultural Research & Development FellowshipAfrican Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) offers two-year fellowships that include a series of career development resources for women agricultural scientists from specific African countries.
U.S. Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food SecurityThis RFA solicits applications to support U.S. students conducting research on topics related to Feed the Future. The U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security graduate research grants are intended to support students interested in developing a component of their graduate research in a single, developing country setting by supporting the student’s work in-residence at an International Agricultural Research Center (IARC) or a qualifying National Agricultural Research System (NARS) unit. Apply by November 11, 2013.
Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab The Feed the Future Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, managed by the University of Georgia, invites research proposals to enhance peanut productivity and address mycotoxins in maize, peanuts and/or other commodities in Feed the Future countries. Concept notes due May 31, 2013.
Call for Proposals on Livestock & Nutrition ResearchThis call for proposals will fund research on livestock and human microbiomes associated with enteric pathogens, focusing on Uganda and Nepal. The program is open to researchers at U.S. universities and their partners, including at least one host-country institution or organization. Proposals due by May 1, 2013.
U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security ProgramHoused at Purdue University, the Summer Institute on Global Food Security is a 2-week long learning program for graduate students attending U.S. institutions who are interested in developing a holistic understanding of the conceptual challenges around global food security. The Summer Institute is now accepting applications for the 2013 session. Apply by Monday, March 4, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Horticulture CRSP Trellis FundThe Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program has released a new call for Trellis Fund project proposals and student applicants as the program prepares to fund a third round of projects that will begin July 1. The Horticulture CRSP will select up to 12 of the most successful project proposals for funding and then pair a student with related expertise to the project. Project proposals and student applications are due by March 4, 2013.
USDA Borlaug Fellowship ProgramThe Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program (Borlaug Fellowship Program) helps developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices by providing scientific training and collaborative research opportunities to visiting researchers, policymakers, and university faculty.
Feed the Future Innovation Labs for Collaborative ResearchOpportunities exist within the Feed the Future Innovation Labs for Collaborative Research (formerly known as Collaborative Research Support Programs) at universities throughout the United States. Innovation Labs address hunger and poverty through science and technology.
Africa Leadership Training & Capacity Building ProgramAfrica Lead offers powerful leadership training that builds the capacity of agriculture leaders to prioritize key activities and implement priorities of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).

Partner Highlights

Honoring the legacy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug, this is a major new effort to increase the number of...read more
The Africa Lead Agribusiness Leadership Program supports capacity building under the Feed the Future initiative and the...read more
Beginning this month, U.S. graduate students will travel to Feed the Future focus countries to work on projects led by in-...read more