Skip to main content

small business innovation research

NIFA’s Contributions to America’s Agriculture Research and Innovation

National Innovation Day was February 16th this year. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) directly contributes to America’s agriculture research and innovation, ultimately benefiting our farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Through an integrated approach of research, education, and Cooperative Extension (extension) – and strong collaboration with our grantees, partners, stakeholders, other Federal agencies, and Congress – NIFA ensures that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. Most of NIFA’s programs contribute to America’s agricultural research and innovation, including NIFA’s flagship competitive grants program, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program.

NIFA Programs Support Soil Health

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one-third of the planet’s soils are degraded. This condition is caused by a number of natural factors, including wind and water erosion and nutrient imbalances, but people also leave an indelible impact on the earth. About 38 percent of the worlds’ surface is dedicated to agriculture to feed a population of 7.2 billion. That population is projected to increase to over 9 billion by 2050.