MSU fights global hunger with $18.5M in USAID grants

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MSU will use two USAID grants to fight hunger in Senegal and Nigeria. (view larger image)

Michigan State University (MSU) will use two grants, awarded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and totaling more than $18 million, to support two African nations as they fight hunger and take charge of their own food security future.

These grants, part of the USAID-funded Feed The Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, a $70-million international project portfolio managed by MSU’s agricultural, food and resource economics department, underscore MSU’s long history in helping developing nations establish the policies and procedures necessary to drive their own food security efforts. The grants support USAID’s work under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

“Food and nutrition security is essential for human and economic development as well as political stability. National and regional policies to achieve this goal must be informed by a sound understanding of the food system and broad consultation with citizens,” said Duncan Boughton, co-director of MSU’s Food Security Group.“MSU’s contribution is to partner with and equip analysts in universities, think tanks and governments with the tools to be successful.”

The first grant, $12.5 million, will assist Nigeria to strengthen its own food security policies and subsequently improve nutrition outcomes. To that end, MSU – partnering with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) – will help increase the nation’s capacity to generate and analyze information and to develop evidence-based policy options. The MSU/IFPRI team also will improve the policy process to ensure a strong empirical evidence base and active dialogue at all levels.

“Our goal is to foster credible, transparent and sustainable policy procedures at the country level,” said Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, MSU AgBioResearch assistant professor of agricultural, food and resource economics and project team leader. “We want to work with Nigerian researchers and policy stakeholders to strengthen the building blocks for national policies as well as increase input among all stakeholders around critical policy issues.”

A second, $6 million grant, will be used to help another West African nation, Senegal, to increase its agricultural capacity. The MSU/IFPRI team will work to increase public and private investments in agriculture by helping the government strengthen its policies and enhancing the country’s investment environment.

Thomas Reardon, MSU AgBioResearch professor in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, is also involved in the work in both countries.

For the full story, please visit MSU Today.

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