MSU awarded $4.4 million for food security work

Posted at 2:58 PM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-28 15:20:23-04

Michigan State University has been awarded $4.4 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development in Mali to strengthen the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy and its efforts to battle hunger, reduce poverty and improve nutrition through better food policy in Mali. The grant supports USAID’s work under Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

The Mali Food Security Policy Research Program, led by the Food Security Policy Innovation Lab, promotes inclusive agricultural productivity growth, improved nutritional outcomes and enhanced livelihood resilience through an improved policy environment. This program combines applied research with policy engagement and capacity-building activities on top-priority policy themes such as farm productivity, gender, trade and agribusiness investment.

“At MSU, we are excited about working with our local Malian partners at the Institut d’Economie Rural and the Institut Polytechnique Rural on important policy issues affecting the productivity and welfare of Malian farmers,” said Steven Haggblade, MSU international development professor who is in Mali helping lead the project.

Haggblade is leading the project with Melinda Smale and Veronique Theriault, from MSU’s agricultural, food and resource economics department.

The Food Security Policy Innovation Lab, housed at MSU, was launched three years ago with an initial USAID grant of $10 million. Over the years, additional awards have been granted to continue the lab’s work. Other countries have received awards through the project, including Malawi, Senegal and Burma. Goals for these projects include providing effective technical support for policy formulation, engaging in effective communication to inform debate on agriculture and food security policy issues, and ensuring that gaps in expertise constraining effective agricultural policy reform are filled.

“Michigan State University is a global leader in agriculture and food research,” said Debbie Stabenow, a U.S. senator from Michigan and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “Now, through the efforts of this important Innovation Lab, MSU will continue to help solve some of the most complex issues facing communities around the world. As an alum, I’m proud to see that Spartans are continuing to lead the way.”

MSU’s Food Security Group leads the Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., and the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

About Feed the Future: Feed the Future is the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition. For more information, visit