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Food Safety IL seeks applications from MSIs

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety is accepting applications from researchers at Minority Serving Institutions and especially early career faculty and researchers who haven’t yet gained much experience in global development projects.

The lab’s goal is to reduce the burden of food-borne illness in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Researchers from a wide range of disciplines are eligible for this opportunity, including but not limited to food science, food processing, agribusiness, agricultural economics, agricultural education, animal science, family and consumer sciences, gender studies, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, human nutrition, and international relations and affairs.

Projects must be led by a researcher at a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), but project teams may include non-MSIs and other organizations as collaborators. To apply, go to the lab’s website.

Researchers at a non-MSI in the U.S. or at an institution outside the U.S. who are interested in partnering with an MSI on a research proposal may complete this optional interest form.

The lab will host an informational webinar on April 29.

Annual APRES meeting will be virtual

The 53rd American Peanut Research and Education Society Annual Meeting will be virtual, rather than in-person, organizers decided this week.

The 2021 gathering was scheduled to be in Dallas the week of July 13-15, but many potential participants work for agencies or companies that have travel restrictions due to the lingering Covid-19 pandemic. While vaccinations are providing some encouraging signs that people may be able to travel and gather safely soon, society may not meet that milestone by the July meeting.

“It became clear through this discussion the meeting we all want–filled with colleagues, collegial atmosphere, and dynamic discourse is currently compromised by the ability for many to travel to and meet in Dallas. The use of APRES’ reserves to offset any potential financial impact from reduced attendance carried the vote to a virtual format,” President Gary Schwarzlose and Program Chair David Jordan said in a message to society members.

The meeting will explore the theme “Complicated and Challenging World Created by Viruses,” and all presentations will be virtual, but live including the breakout sessions, general session, technical symposium and the Joe Sugg Oral Presentation Graduate Student Competition. Poster-presenters will be asked to record and explanation of their work.

Abstracts will be accepted until April 15. Registration is $250 for APRES members, $25 for students, post docs, and retired members.

Sign up for chat on empowering women in post-production work

Agrilinks is hosting a webinar to share findings from a landscape analysis conducted by the Feed the Future Advancing Women’s Empowerment (AWE) program that examines women’s empowerment in beyond-production activities.

Women engage in a variety of agricultural roles across the value chain. Many approaches, promising practices, and tools to support women’s empowerment in production have emerged in recent years. However, much less is known about women’s engagement, benefit, and empowerment in beyond-production activities such as input and service provision, marketing, agro-processing, and retail.

This webinar, we will will explore common approaches to empowering women in beyond-production activities. Then, we’ll do a deep dive into concrete ways to collect and use data to understand and implement good practices in women’s empowerment in beyond-production.

This discussion, led by AWE consortium member ACDI/VOCA, will be followed by a Q&A session during which the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions about women’s empowerment in beyond-production activities.

Register here to join on Wednesday, March 31 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Ghana groundnut group plans July meeting

The Ghana Groundnut Working Group (GGWG) has set a date for its third annual meeting, a slightly delayed gathering that will address the theme of strengthening the peanut value chain in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The GGWG was created to help people and organizations share information and build stronger partnerships that will enhance the groundnut value chain in Ghana. 

The tentative program for the 2021 meeting, which will be held July 27 and 28, will include introductions by representatives of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), USAID, and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut. 

Experts will discuss the role nutrition plays in boosting immune systems against infections such as Covid-19, standards and food safety concerns associated with groundnuts, and the status of aflatoxin policies in Ghana. Other presentations will provide an overview of groundnut seed systems; examine tools that will help groundnut farmers minimize production risk; and provide the latest information on postharvest management, nutrition, and economics of the groundnut value chain. 

The program will promote open discussions on strategies to overcome challenges that currently limit the potential of the groundnut industry and supply chain in Ghana.  Presentations by graduate students from universities in Ghana will demonstrate some of the research projects designed to provide solutions to these challenges.

For more information on the 3rd Annual Meeting of the GGWG, please contact Jerry Nboyine at CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute at:  or + 233 55 758 4561 by June 2 to attend.

USAID looking for university to run Hort IL

The new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture has been posted to grants.gov and can be found here. The closing date for applications is May 11.

The purpose of the Horticulture Innovation Lab is to identify and strengthen opportunities for smallholder farmers to develop and sustainably manage horticulture based enterprises in Feed the Future production systems. This includes research and local capacity development on climate-resilient management of nutrient dense food and inclusive horticultural business growth and commercialization, with focus on youth opportunity, gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

The Horticulture IL’s overarching goal is to reduce global hunger, malnutrition and poverty through science, technology and innovation. The Horticulture IL will work to realize inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, strengthened resilience among people and systems, and a well-nourished population, especially among youth, women, and young children. The Horticulture IL will build on USAID’s prior investments, including the previous Horticulture IL and its precursor Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP). The Horticulture IL will function as a five-year Leader with Associates (LWA) Cooperative Agreement, awarded to an eligible U.S. university to develop a global portfolio of horticulture research-for-development.

Any questions must be emailed to Kelly Miskowski () by March 25, 2021 at 4 p.m. Washington, D.C. time. Eligibility is restricted to Title XII U.S. universities and other eligible institutions. 

Apply to lead new IL on crop threats

USAID is accepting applications through 11 May 2021 to lead the new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Current and Emerging Threats in Crops (CETC). Other info is at grants.gov.

The CETC Innovation Lab will design, lead, and implement an applied research program focused on the control of current and emerging biotic threats to food security crops that the poor depend on. The program will also strengthen local research partners through capacity development while benefiting smallholder farmers and other beneficiaries of USAID assistance. The CETC Innovation Lab will serve as a resource to USAID Missions and their implementing partners in their efforts to overcome critical crop pest, weed and disease constraints facing their national food systems. The Innovation Lab is broadly expected to help recognize, build on and influence impact pathways from crop biotic threat protection research to development outcomes through partnerships with USAID Mission-supported programs, national partners, private companies, community-based organizations, and other donors and their programs.

Eligibility is restricted to Title XII U.S. universities and other eligible institutions.

Please direct all questions to Leah Leach, .

Small grants available for 50×2030 data projects

The 50×2030 Initiative, an effort to transform country data systems across 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America by 2030, is sponsoring a competition for novel research projects that use 50×2030 data.

 Small grants – from $1,000 to $10,000 – will be issued for projects that employ 50×2030 survey data to generate practical research that can be applied to national policymaking, program (re)design or investment decisions. The Initiative will then feature outputs of the supported research at a virtual conference in November 2021 and through other outlets.

Local researchers in five partner countries – Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Senegal and Georgia – are eligible to apply.

The data use competition aims to facilitate the building of evidence-informed policies for rural development and food security. Research proposals must demonstrate relevance to national policy or investment priorities for the public or private sector by citing documentation. Proposals should provide a rationale of how the research outputs could translate to improved decision-making and how dissemination plans will promote the application of the research outputs to the broadest extent possible.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development, which manages the Data Use component of 50×0230, will lead the selection process. 

Applications must:

  • Provide clear research questions which address a gap in knowledge linked to the stated objectives of the 50×2030 Initiative and the study country’s policies and priorities, explain and provide expected relationships and documentation on how the research would inform practical policy decisions linked to rural development and food security within the study country,
  • Identify what national data it will use, both 50×2030 data sets and other,
  • Describe the analysis methods to be used,
  • Identify the target audience for the research in a manner consistent with the stated objectives of the 50×2030 Initiative,
  • Provide a budget between $1000 – $10,000,
  • Provide a timeline to complete the research by September 2021, and
  • Lay out a dissemination and communication strategy to promote the research output.

The full call for proposals is here.