Understanding COVID-19’s Effect on AG
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture is seeking proposals to research ways COVID-19 is impacting agriculture.
NIFA Director J. Scott Angle spoke with the USDA News Service.
Angle: “ Obviously COVID-19 has had a significant impact on agriculture, agricultural workers and our ability to get food into the grocery stores, so there’s a lot of questions that have arisen that apparently need some research before we have data that will allow us to make wise policy decisions.”
Angle says the program has 9 million dollars to fund those who are doing research and can share information with extension agencies. He says there are four areas of research.
Angle:” These will be the health and well being of farm and food service providers as well as all rural Americans. The second one is the health and security of livestock. The third I think is an obvious one, the economic security. Obviously COVID-19 has had an impact throughout our nation on all kinds of economies. The last one would be in food and food processing with respect to food safety.”
He says there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. But that doesn’t mean there should not be research in the area to understand how the virus behaves throughout the distribution system
Angle says almost anyone can apply. The proposals do require a particular format which can be found at the NIFA website. He also suggests calling the USDA with a quick outline to see if the research idea is on the track with the agency's needs before applying. The deadline for applying is June 4th. NIFA.USDA.GOV is the website for information.