12.18.2019

SoAR Foundation Appreciates the 2.4% Budget Increase for USDA’s Flagship Science Program, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, in FY2020

Washington, DC (December 18, 2019)—The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation welcomes increased funding for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the flagship competitive grants program of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the final budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget. AFRI’s budget will total $425 million for the fiscal year that began this past October.

“We are pleased that the AFRI budget has been increased for the fourth year in a row, especially in a year that has brought turmoil due to the move of NIFA to Kansas City,” said Thomas Grumbly, President of the SoAR Foundation. “We cannot ignore the fact, however, that overall Federal expenditures on research were raised by more than 7%—nearly twice the amount for USDA. This tells us that there is much more work to be done to persuade the Congress that food and agricultural research must be a higher priority if we are to have prosperous farmers and a healthy nation.”

More Stories from the community

Breakthroughs in Agricultural Research to Build Back Better

Photo of researcher evaluating cowpea plants in the field, by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Breakthroughs in food and agriculture research, development (R&D), and innovation have improved the quantity and quality of food production around the world, while reducing poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. Yet, after decades of progress global hunger is trending up. Supply chain disruptions due to the Covid pandemic along with increasingly challenging weather and climate conditions have threatened food supplies and thrown hundreds of millions of people into poverty. By significantly increasing international agriculture R&D investments and by providing social safety nets, we can help families and communities thrive while improving our food systems in the coming decades.

Read More
Food and Agriculture Need a Bigger Piece of the Funding Pie

Our rural communities, farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers are at the epicenter of multiple challenges facing our country: the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the need to strengthen and ensure parity in our interconnected food and agricultural systems, and competition with other countries to feed the growing world population while still meeting our country's nutritional needs. As we celebrate National Agriculture Week, strengthening investments in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs will help rebuild rural America, improve our agriculture and food systems, safeguard our national security, and provide solutions to climate change and additional resources for socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers, ranchers, and producers.

Read More
SoAR Foundation: $700M Presidential Budget Request for Agricultural Research Would Help Prepare Food and Farm Science to Meet 21st Century Challenges

The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation applauds the Obama administration’s budget request of $700 million in FY2017 for the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). If approved by Congress, the increase would double AFRI’s annual budget and fulfill the Congressional authorization passed eight years ago when the program was established as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Read More