Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030 is a new released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to identify ambitious scientific directions in food and agriculture. The year-long project involved the scientific community at-large in describing scientific opportunities with high potential to create knowledge breakthroughs that will lead to new paradigms for research and the food and agricultural enterprise.

Report Results

Over the past year, NASEM canvassed nearly 150 researchers and stakeholders in a wide variety of fields through a series of live events and webinars. Through a consensus-building process, the committee identified the five most important initiatives that need to be addressed by food and agriculture research:

  1. The potential of microbiomes—in the animal gut, in soil, and everywhere in between—to increase efficiency and overcome obstacles in production
  2. Advancements in genetic evaluation and editing, including making the most of CRISPR and other technologies to accelerate the evolution of food production
  3. Expanding and analyzing the many pools of data involved in growing and producing food
  4. Developing and improving sensors and biosensors across all agricultural sectors to increase productivity and better target interventions
  5. Examining, through transdisciplinary collaborations, entire systems in food production and finding the keys to adapting and transforming them to overcome challenges and increase production


The study is made possible by major funding from FFAR and SoAR Foundation, with support committed from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, and additional funders.

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