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Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the extension of two research partnerships with Kansas State University that are helping to combat global hunger.
USAID has awarded $14 million to Kansas State University to extend the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research in Sorghum and Millet for five years as it develops heartier varieties of sorghum and pearl millet that can withstand heat and drought.
USAID has also awarded $3 million to the University to continue the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss for three years as it develops technologies and approaches for reducing crop loss and contamination during storage.
These extensions build on the long and successful history of partnership between USAID and Kansas State University in addressing global challenges to food security. In addition to these two Feed the Future Innovation Labs, Kansas State University also leads labs focused on wheat genomics and sustainable and efficient improvement of agricultural production.
Lastly, we have awarded $4.9 million to extend the Feed the Future Innovation Lab on Applied Wheat Genomics to continue their efforts to accelerate the development of heat-tolerant and pest and disease resistant wheat varieties across South Asia.
Through Feed the Future, America’s initiative to combat global hunger, USAID is collaborating with more than 70 U.S. universities and colleges to conduct research and develop technologies that benefit agriculture, resilience and nutrition abroad and here in the United States. The recently released 2018 Feed the Future Snapshot Report shows that in Feed the Future partner countries, an estimated 23.4 million more people live above the poverty line, and 3.4 million more children have escaped the devastating, life-long consequences of poor nutrition early in life since the initiative began.
For example, researchers from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Applied Wheat Genomics at Kansas State University contributed to the effort to successfully map the wheat genome, an effort highlighted in Science Magazine last week. This research will accelerate the development of more productive and higher quality wheat varieties that can meet the challenges farmers in the U.S. and abroad face today and will face in the future, such as drier climates, emerging pests and diseases, and declining productivity.