USA – Kansas State University (KSU) in collaboration with other research institutions have come together to help reduce hunger and poverty through agriculture.

Through its program, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL), the university is joining forces with Rutgers University to strengthen the activities of its Feed the Future Policy Research Consortium.

The consortium was formed at Rutgers in 2014 with a goal to bring together experts in agricultural development policy from multiple U.S.-based institutions and selected countries.

These will collaboratively conduct a series of impact studies related to agricultural and food security policy and to be a forum for independent and innovative research on policy analysis.

The Policy Research Consortium will support USAID’s Global Food Security Strategy objectives through contributions to the improvement of policy approaches and outcomes.

It will be headed by Carl Pray, a distinguished professor in the Rutgers department of agricultural, food and resource economics, serving as the principal investigator.

“An essential element of agricultural and economic development is a set of policies and regulations that allow farmers to use their skills, education and improved technology to increase their income and family’s well-being,” said Pray.

“One of the challenges addressed by our project is to identify effective policy changes and measure their consequences.

“By analyzing this data with our in-country partners and providing it to governments and donors in a timely manner, we hope to effect policy changes that improve the livelihoods of many people in the agricultural sector and consumers across the African continent.”

SIIL is a USAID-funded program looking to produce measurable impacts on reducing global hunger, poverty and improving the nutrition of smallholder farmers.

“It is clear from past experiences working on the ground in the consortium’s target countries that you may have the best technologies available to you, but without appropriate policies and effective implementation of those policies to create enabling environment, it is very hard to scale up the innovations to larger geographical areas,” said Vara Prasad, Kansas State University Distinguished Professor and SIIL director.

“This can have a direct impact on food and nutritional security in those areas and affects those most in need of assistance.”

The initial Policy Research Consortium member organizations include Georgetown University, the University of British Columbia, Tufts University, the University of Gaston-Berger, the University of Florida, the International Fertilizer Development Center, Northwestern University, Montana State University, Michigan State University, and the African Economic Research Consortium.