USDA-NIFA Grants Nearly $14 Million for Rapid Response to Help U.S. Universities Find Scientific Solutions Amid Pandemic


Oklahoma Farm Report

09 Sep 2020


To keep science discovery, innovation, and education moving forward, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) developed a series of COVID-19 Rapid Response funding opportunities targeted to the most critical issues facing university researchers, small businesses and consumers across America during the pandemic. Today, USDA-NIFA announced the agency has awarded nearly $14 million in this nationwide effort so far, with more projects to be funded in the next few months.


“It was quickly evident at the onset of the pandemic that the food supply, agricultural systems, families and education – key focus areas for USDA and our partners – would be greatly impacted by all the changes facing our society,” said USDA-NIFA Acting Director Parag Chitnis. “USDA-NIFA is uniquely positioned to help fund rapid response research, outreach and education efforts, while continuing to support our base research, Extension and 4-H youth development programs that are in place at all times to respond to producer and consumer needs, large and small, across the nation.”


Over the past few weeks, USDA-NIFA awarded close to $13 million across 17 grant projects through the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and another 14 grants for $1.3 million through the Small Business Innovation Research Program to support research and development across all areas of agricultural research, education, and small business innovation addressing the pandemic. NIFA expects to announce another round of AFRI-funded projects in October.


This new support adds to USDA-NIFA capacity funds already in place in every...