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Michigan State University to Implement New Feed the Future Agricultural Research Training Program

Feed the Future, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and in partnership with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, announces that Michigan State University (MSU) has been selected to implement the Feed the Future Borlaug Higher Education Agricultural Research and Development Program.

Honoring the legacy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug, this is a major new effort to increase the number of agricultural scientists and strengthen scientific institutions in developing countries. The program will support long-term training of agricultural researchers at the master’s and doctoral levels and will link scientific and higher education communities in Feed the Future countries and the United States.

The program will launch in Ghana, Uganda, Mali, Mozambique, and Bangladesh with potential to expand to other Feed the Future countries. The design of training programs will be grounded in a strategic planning process facilitated in targeted research institutions.

Unique to this program is its focus on the development, testing and evaluation of new models of capacity development. APLU will develop a knowledge sharing system to identify innovative and effective mechanisms for human and institutional capacity development and promote shared learning across programs. MSU will support students as agents of change by helping them move their research discoveries to adoption. In addition, students will have placement opportunities to pursue graduate study in a wide array of U.S. universities.

“The professional skills of researchers and the effectiveness of their institutions are critical for the development and adaptation of innovations to drive long-term agricultural productivity and resilience,” said Rob Bertram, director of the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy as the USAID Bureau for Food Security. “We are delighted to launch this partnership with Michigan State University and look forward to the new capacity development models it will generate that will help us scale up benefits in our partner countries.”

Frederik Derksen, chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at MSU, and Eric Crawford, professor of agricultural, food, and resource economics and co-director of MSU’s Food Security Group, will lead the effort.

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