Crops of the Future is a public-private collaborative established by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to enhance US and global agriculture by developing the crops needed to feed a growing population. The collaborative aims to expand our knowledge of the genes and traits that give rise to the characteristics crops need to adapt to a changing future.
Keeping farmers competitive and profitable requires developing products at an unprecedented pace. Yet, research and development can be financially risky. With industry consolidation, companies are facing greater investment in commercialization over research. This trend makes it challenging and expensive for companies to independently maintain cost-competitive research programs.
However, participation in research consortia allows companies to effectively address these issues.
The Crops of the Future Collaborative allows participants to collectively explore multiple areas of research based on a common need while minimizing risk prior to pursuing the research internally. FFAR established this Collaborative to address significant research gaps common across the industry.
The Crops of the Future Collaborative research can yield traits needed to meet global nutritional demands in a changing environment by focusing in three key areas:
1) Crop resilience
2) Crop diversity
3) Market development for new crops
Initial research projects focus on maize, leafy greens, wheat and small grains.