Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) is charged with funding research, education, and extension grants and integrated research, extension, and education grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture, including farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and conventional breeding.

General Information

Providing this support requires that AFRI advances fundamental sciences in support of agriculture and coordinates opportunities to build on these discoveries. This necessitates efforts in education and extension that deliver science-based knowledge to people, allowing them to make informed practical decisions.

AFRI provides funding for fundamental and applied research, extension, and education to address food and agricultural sciences. AFRI supersedes the National Research Initiative. AFRI Grants shall be awarded to address priorities in United States agriculture in the following areas:

  • Plant health and production and plant products;
  • Animal health and production and animal products;
  • Food safety, nutrition, and health;
  • Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment;
  • Agriculture systems and technology; and
  • Agriculture economics and rural communities.

To the maximum extent practicable, NIFA, in coordination with the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), will make grants for high priority research, education, and extension, taking into consideration, when available, the determinations made by the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board. The authority to carry out this program has been delegated to NIFA through the Under Secretary for REE.

Subject to the availability of appropriations to carry out the AFRI program, the Secretary may award grants to state agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals; or any group consisting of two or more of the aforementioned entities. Please see the details in the Request for Applications.

Program Type: 
Grant Program
Mark A. Mirando


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