The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) provides funding for fundamental and applied research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. The goal of this program is to invest in agricultural production research, education, and extension projects for more sustainable, productive and economically viable plant and animal production systems. The global agricultural output needs to be expanded significantly to meet the food needs of the population expected in 2050; thus, it is imperative to develop innovative, safe and sustainable management strategies for livestock, crops, and critical underlying resources.
In 2021 and 2022, applications are sought in the following priority areas:
- Plant health and production and plant products;
- Animal health and production and animal products;
- Food safety, nutrition, and health;
- Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment;
- Agriculture systems and technology; and
- Agriculture economics and rural communities
The purpose of AFRI is to support research, education, and extension work by awarding grants to solve key problems of local, regional, national, and global importance in sustaining conventional, organic, and urban agricultural systems. These include farm efficiency, profitability and sustainability; ranching; bioenergy; forestry; aquaculture; rural communities and entrepreneurship; human nutrition; mitigating impacts of biotic and abiotic constraints on food production; food safety; mitigating food waste and food loss; physical and social sciences; home economics and rural human ecology; biotechnology; and classical breeding. Through this support, AFRI advances knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. Funding this work also allows AFRI to support education and extension activities that deliver science-based knowledge to end users, allowing them to make informed, practical decisions.
Each application must address at least one of the seven program area priorities listed below.
- Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems
- Foundational Knowledge of Plant Products
- Pests and Beneficial Species in Agricultural Production Systems
- Physiology of Agricultural Plants e. Plant Breeding for Agricultural Production
- Pollinator Health: Research and Application
- Conventional Plant Breeding for Cultivar Development
NIFA supports global engagement that advances U.S. agricultural goals. To attain the agency's goals for U.S. agriculture, global competence of our nation's agricultural workforce, and safe and nutritious food security in a growing world, NIFA recognizes that collaboration with international partners through AFRI can contribute to advances in U.S. agriculture. In an increasingly interconnected world, these U.S. advances may have global importance. Thus, applications in response to this RFA may include collaborations with international partners, but may only be submitted by eligible U.S. institutions.