WASHINGTON D.C. (August 7, 2019) – Population growth and expanding food industry uses are driving an increasing global demand for plant-based protein. Future population growth is expected in regions where the primary protein source is plants. To enhance the protein yield of plant-based staple crops, the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research’s (FFAR) Crops of the Future Collaborative (COTF) is today launching the Plant Protein Enhancement Project. This project will fund competitive research grants to enhance the supply chain for plant-based protein in a profitable and sustainable manner.
“The Plant Protein Enhancement Project aims to create new tools and resources to feed growing demand,” said Crops of the Future Collaborative Director Dr. Jeff Rosichan. “Agricultural research strives to find sustainable ways to feed more people. Enhancing the protein content of staple crops, like pulses, millet and lentils, will achieve that objective and improve the lives of millions of people around the world.”
The Project supports innovative research that improves the characteristics, yields and total protein in plants for human consumption. Specifically, FFAR seeks to fund research that bolsters new or underutilized protein crops, enhances the functional and nutritional properties for plant-based food applications, or performs market-based analyses for proteins or productions systems for plant-based foods. All applicants must make a minimum request of $300,000. Matching funds are not required for this program.
Most commercially available plant-based protein ingredients come from only two percent of the 150 plant species on which today’s global food supply depends. Investigating genetics and breeding of plant-based proteins has the potential to yield sustainable and nutritious protein sources. Such research can provide unexplored plant protein crops with increases in yield, robustness and disease resistance. This research can decrease the cost of these novel protein sources and increase yield, making them more attractive to farmers seeking new crop opportunities.
The Plant Protein Enhancement Project request for applications, along with full eligibility and application details, are available on the FFAR website.
Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.
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