June 20, 2017 – ATLANTA – The National Peanut Board, along with funding partner USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announces the awarding of research grants totaling $ 1.4 million to help find solutions to two vexing issues: accurate diagnosis of peanut and food allergies and continuous improvements in water use efficiency in peanuts.
The National Peanut Board’s co-funding opportunity with NIFA was made possible for the first time in 2015 through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. NPB was one of a handful of national and state commodity boards who participated in this research co-funding opportunity offered by NIFA to commodity boards.
“Funding production research to improve the economic condition of America’s peanut farmers is a core part of the Board’s mission,” said Bob Parker, president and CEO of National Peanut Board. “Partnering with NIFA allows us to maximize the reach of our research dollars far beyond what we would be able to accomplish on our own.”
The National Peanut Board’s investment of nearly $400,000 yielded $1 million in NIFA matching funds or full funding of key peanut research projects. Here is a summary of projects associated with NPB.
- The USDA Agricultural Research Service, Southern Region, received a grant of $489,804, half of which was funded by the National Peanut Board with matching funds from NIFA, to improve peanut and food allergy diagnostic methods.Food Allergy Issues Addressed: This research project addresses the issue of incorrect diagnosis of food allergies through the most commonly used methods, such as skin-prick tests and IgE blood tests. It is NPB’s goal that this project leads to the development of a diagnostic method that is definitive, accurate and safe for the allergic individual.
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University received a grant of $294,000, half of which was funded by the National Peanut Board with matching funds from NIFA, to research drought tolerance and water use efficiency in peanuts.
- Auburn University received a grant funded by NIFA for $294,000, to conduct research on drought tolerance and water use efficiency in peanuts.
- Texas A & M University received a grant funded by NIFA for $294,000 to conduct research on drought tolerance and water use efficiency in peanuts. Water Efficiency Issues Addressed: Peanut producers need innovative methods of mitigating loss of revenue through decreased yield or quality due to drought or inefficient use of water. It is NPB’s goal this project will find ways to reduce the amount of water necessary to produce peanuts, develop a more drought tolerant peanut variety or develop efficient agronomic methods that decrease the amount of water used in peanut production.
For 2017, NPB has received approval for three research topics with available funding for production and peanut nutrition research, also funded jointly with NIFA. Collaborating with three peanut industry funding partners, Southeastern Peanut Research Initiative (SPRI), The Peanut Foundation and The Peanut Institute (TPI), the National Peanut Board is allocating $650,000 for research topics, while NIFA is matching these funds dollar-for-dollar for a total of $1.3 million.
NIFA has issued a Request for Proposals (RFPs) for grants in the NIFA Agriculture and Research Initiative’s program areas. For more information about RFPs, click here. Or contact DeMarquiné Wilson, Manager, IT & Compliance, National Peanut Board (678-424-5757 or firstname.lastname@example.org).