The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) had announced a new funding opportunity--the Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area.

The funding is meant to “sustainably increase agricultural productivity and availability of safe and nutritious food while significantly reducing water use and preserving water quality.”

Since 2014, NIFA has invested more than $88 million through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security Challenge Area and more than $42 million through the AFRI Water for Agriculture Challenge Area. In 2017, NIFA has combined these two challenge areas to create this new challenge area, which invites applications that employ systems approaches leading to solutions for water challenges in U.S. agricultural production. These solutions must be feasible and reflect a broad range of considerations: agricultural producers, other competing industries, consumers and the communities where they live, and other stakeholders.

Potential impacts may include changes in technological, genetic, economic, environmental, behavioral, social, and policy approaches that lead to reduced water use, and increased water use efficiency for the next several decades and beyond.

Applications may be submitted by entities eligible to submit integrated projects for two specific grant types: Coordinated Agricultural Projects (CAPs) and Strengthening (Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement or FASE) CAPs.

Letters of intent are due May 17. The deadline for applications is August 2, 2017.

Read the full request for applications at the NIFA website.

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