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USAID Partners With U.S. Universities To Fight Global Hunger

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Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced the expansion of research partnerships with U.S. universities to develop and deploy solutions to address global agricultural challenges and help end hunger.

USAID awarded $15 million to Mississippi State University to lead the new five-year Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish, which will research ways to increase the sustainable production of fish and, with it, economic opportunities, nutrition and resilience, particularly among women, small-scale fish farmers, and young people.

USAID also awarded $13.6 million to Michigan State University to lead the new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research. Over the next five years, this program will identify and develop options for farmers to improve the production of legumes, such as beans, lentils and peas. This collaboration builds on a long history of partnership between Michigan State University and USAID that has produced a series of scientific advancements in legumes that have benefited smallholder-farming communities abroad, as well as Michigan farmers.

For example, this partnership has developed varieties that are helping undernourished communities in Guatemala grow and consume more-nutritious beans, while stronger varieties of black beans developed through this long-standing relationship now account for 90 percent of black beans grown in Michigan, and have saved farmers up to $10 million per year in harvesting costs.

These Feed the Future Innovation Labs are part of a network of research partnerships that engages the knowledge and expertise of more than 70 top U.S. universities and their collaborators to address challenges in the agriculture sector worldwide. The announcement today brings the total of Feed the Future Innovation Labs.

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