Biotech Updates

Grant for Soybean Research Aims to Increase Africa's Food Supply

November 6, 2013

A US$25 M grant to the University of Illinois to lead a research consortium aims to increase the food supply in Africa by improving soybean yields in five countries in the continent. The five-year grant is administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and will be led by University of Illinois agricultural economist Peter Goldsmith, who has 13 years of experience conducting research in similar latitudes in South America. The project is part of Feed the Future (, the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative.

The consortium, officially named the Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory for Soybean Value Chain Research, will provide replicable research to identify, adapt and deploy soybean germplasm, educate current and future breeders, define best practices for production and seed management, and identify barriers to adoption, especially for women. The group will conduct its research in the sub-Saharan African countries of Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, and Ethiopia.

See the University of Illinois' news release at