Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD)
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) is a presidentially appointed federal advisory committee established in 1975 under the Foreign Assistance Act. Recognizing the critical role of U.S. higher education institutions in agricultural development, BIFAD’s main purpose is to advise USAID on issues pertinent to agriculture and food security in developing countries. BIFAD convenes public meetings at least twice a year to engage on priority issues in accordance with its mandate. BIFAD also commissions reports on topics of interest to USAID and the university community.
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) is a presidentially appointed federal advisory committee established in 1975 under Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended. Recognizing the critical role of U.S. higher education institutions in agricultural development, domestically and abroad, and the importance of their engagement in USAID development programs, BIFAD’s main purpose is to advise USAID on issues pertinent to agriculture and food security in developing countries.
BIFAD activities include:
- Advise on USAID initiatives related to U.S. university engagement in food security, especially as related to research and capacity development.
- Engage with the larger food security community regarding USAID policy and program priorities.
- Assess the impact of Title XII university programs, such as the Feed the Future Innovation Labs.
- Commission studies on food security issues at the request of the USAID Administrator.
BIFAD advances U.S., state, regional, and national strategic interests in international agricultural development and is an important advocate for U.S. higher education institutions in their efforts to work with USAID to engage in the fight against world hunger and poverty.
The operation of BIFAD is governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which emphasizes public involvement through open meetings and reporting. BIFAD convenes public meetings at least twice a year to engage on priority issues in accordance with its mandate. BIFAD also commissions reports on topics of interest to USAID and the university community. The annual Title XII Report to Congress summarizes BIFAD activities and includes a statement by BIFAD.
Meet the current BIFAD members:
- Laurence B. Alexander, BIFAD Chair and Chancellor, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- Pamela K. Anderson, Director General Emerita, International Potato Center
- Marie Boyd, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law
- Rattan Lal, Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University
- Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Associate Professor, Michigan State University
- Henri G. Moore, Vice President/Head of Responsible Business, GSK Consumer Health
- Kathy Spahn, President and CEO of Helen Keller International
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) convenes public meetings at least twice a year to engage the food security community and other stakeholders to examine new and emerging issues and opportunities in international food security and agricultural development and to create a platform for discussion among U.S. higher education institutions and other stakeholders to discuss issues and to inform USAID’s future focus in these areas.
Announcements and links to register for upcoming events are outlined below, along with recordings and supporting materials from past events.
183rd BIFAD Public Meeting: October 13, 2020
Agricultural Growth, Economic Transformation, and the Journey to Self-Reliance: Implications for USAID Programming
BIFAD convened the meeting to better understand the concept of economic transformation—how underdeveloped and agrarian-based countries shift from subsistence agriculture to a commercially oriented economy with diverse agricultural, manufacturing, and service sectors—and how it contributes to a country’s resilience to shocks, such as COVID-19, and its progression toward self-reliance. Authors of a BIFAD-commissioned study shared preliminary findings and lessons learned on emerging success stories in agricultural productivity-led economic transformation and discussed the implications of this evidence for USAID’s agricultural and food security development and social safety net priorities and programming here. More information on this and other events can be found here.
182nd BIFAD Public Meeting: September 14, 2020
COVID-19 and Nutrition: Impacts, Field Innovations, and the Way Forward
This convening followed the June 4, 2020 181st BIFAD meeting, Food Security and Nutrition in the Context of COVID-19, to provide an update on the impacts of the pandemic on nutrition outcomes and to discuss USAID's response. The COVID-19 crisis risks backsliding on nutrition gains with irrevocable impacts on mortality and lost potential. Initial projections show likely significant increases in wasting and forthcoming analyses will quantify the potential impacts on small for gestational age, micronutrient deficiencies, stunting, and declines in breastfeeding. Field reporting indicates significant reduction in coverage of key nutrition interventions. These will all translate in loss of life and development gains if not countered with adequate action on nutrition as global decision makers focus on response and recovery. View more information on the meeting here. Access Code: 6f3YY$YJ
181st BIFAD Public Meeting: June 4, 2020
Food Security and Nutrition in the Context of COVID-19: Impacts and Interventions
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and measures put in place to stop its spread will have impacts on all intermediate results of the U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy, including agricultural productivity, livelihoods, markets, trade and policy actions, food consumption and nutrition, hygiene, and resilience. This included consideration of the most promising short-, medium-, and long-term responses across several key areas: farm-level productivity, markets and trade, access to finance, nutrition, safe and hygienic food systems, gender, and national and local policy. The meeting was intended to help to support decision making by USAID and its partners and stakeholders working to advance food security, nutrition, and resilience at global, regional, and national levels. More information on this and other events here.
180th BIFAD Public Meeting: October 15, 2019
Agriculture in Conflict-Affected and Fragile Contexts, US Benefit Study, and BIFAD Awards
At USAID’s request, the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) examined issues around agriculture and food security in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, including issues around displacement and its effects on food systems. During the afternoon session, an awards receptions was held for the recipients of the 2019 BIFAD Awards for Scientific Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab. Drs. Yihun Dile, Abeyou Worqlul, and Jean-Claude Bizimana of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation at the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M AgriLife were recognized as the recipients of the Senior Research Team Award. Mr. Jean Baptiste Ndahetuye of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences was recognized as the recipient of the BIFAD Student Award. Finally, the Board presented a commissioned study, How the United States Benefits from Agricultural and Food Security Investments in Developing Countries. More information on this and other events here.
179th BIFAD Public Meeting: April 9, 2019
S. University Feedback on Implementation of USAID’s Automated Directives Systems (ADS) 252 (Visa Compliance for Exchange Visitors) and ADS 253 (Participant Training and Exchanges for Capacity Development)
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) held a virtual public to solicit feedback from the U.S. university community on their experiences implementing the regulations that govern USAID-funded Exchange Visitors and Participant Training, as per the Automated Directives System (ADS) 252 and ADS 253. The ADS contain the organization and functions of USAID, along with the policies and procedures that guide the Agency's programs and operations. More information on this and other events here.
178th BIFAD Public Meeting: October 16, 2018
Improving Nutrition through Private Sector Engagement Across Food Systems
BIFAD hosted a half-day public meeting on October 16, 2018, prior to the World Food Prize event in Des Moines, Iowa, to explore how private sector engagement and market system linkages across the food system can help to advance nutrition outcomes. BIFAD hosted various speakers representing U.S. universities, national government stakeholders from Africa, civil society, and the private sector to present on the topic. View more information on the meeting here.
177th BIFAD Public Meeting: September 12, 2018
The Feed the Future Learning Agenda
The central theme of this public meeting will be the new Feed the Future Learning Agenda which builds on the first Feed the Future Learning Agenda launched in 2012. Through the Learning Agenda, the U.S. Government seeks to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Feed the Future initiative by generating, synthesizing, communicating, and applying evidence related to key questions. View more information on the meeting here.
176th BIFAD Public Meeting: August 8, 2018
U.S. Benefits Leveraged from Strategic Investments in Developing Country Agriculture and Food Security
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) held a public meeting on August 8, 2018 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC, whereby members of the Agricultural and Applied Economic Association (AAEA) and other interested individuals engaged in a dialogue and provided feedback on a new study commissioned by BIFAD and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). View more information on the meeting here.
175th BIFAD Public Meeting: May 9, 2018
Building an Evidence Base on Resilience Measurement and Analysis
BIFAD convened a meeting on May 9, 2018 in Washington, DC to share knowledge about theoretical and applied frameworks for resilience measurement and analysis and to identify opportunities to leverage U.S. university research capabilities to support resilience measurement and analysis. View more information about the meeting here.
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) commissions reports on topics of interest to USAID and the university community. These reports explore new and emerging issues and opportunities in international food security and agricultural development and present recommendations to USAID and the broader development community.
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH, RESILIENCE, AND ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: IMPLICATIONS FOR USAID
A new BIFAD-commissioned report, Agricultural Productivity Growth, Resilience, and Economic Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for USAID, reviews the evidence of evolving economic transformation and progress towards resilience in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and provides a priority agenda for promoting transformation and resilience in the region, recognizing the varying challenges faced by fragile, low-income, lower-middle-income, and resource-rich countries. To view the full report, click here.
BIFAD REPORT: HOW THE UNITED STATES BENEFITS FROM AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND FOOD SECURITY INVESTMENTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
BIFAD has launched a new report documenting that investments in agriculture and food security abroad are a win-win for the United States and the rest of the world. While the primary objective of U.S. foreign agricultural assistance is to stimulate growth of the world’s poorest regions and increase global stability, U.S. foreign agricultural assistance investments also bring substantial economic, health, and security benefits to the United States. U.S. producers and consumers benefit through increased exports and jobs, technology spillovers, health and nutrition, and global and U.S. security. The report recommends that foreign agricultural assistance be sustained to strengthen agricultural and food systems in developing countries. To view the full report, click here.
BIFAD REPORT ON SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE (SUA) AND INNOVATIVE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH INITIATIVE (iAGRI)
The iAGRI project is a partnership between a U.S. university consortium led by The Ohio State University and including Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Tuskegee University, and University of Florida, in partnership with Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI). iAGRI is an innovative example of human and institutional capacity development (HICD) and represents a substantial USAID investment in university-to-university partnerships. iAGRI has successfully developed a plan that is consistent with the human and institutional development needs of SUA and human capacity needs of MAFC with a quality improvement paradigm sanctioned by the SUA administration. To view the full report, click here.
BIFAD REPORT ON HUMAN AND INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT STUDIES AND CONSULTATIONS: Feeding the World in 2050: How Human and Institutional Capacity Development Can Support Agricultural Innovation Systems
In this report, recommendations from other reports and the information emerging from discussions during different consultations are summarized and shared. The report also presents comments raised by outside panelists, BIFAD members, and the public at the BIFAD meeting held in Washington, D.C. on February 27, 2015 to suggest possible next steps in HICD research and activities. To view the full report, click here.
BIFAD REVIEW OF THE COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH SUPPORT PROGRAM (CRSP) MODEL
For more than 30 years, the Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) has served as a principal strategy to implement the grand vision of strengthening USAID‘s research engagement with U.S. universities under Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (ibid). This review study assesses the CRSP model in the current context of international agriculture and food security research and capacity building. It was initiated in response to USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah‘s request to the chair of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), Dr. Brady Deaton, that BIFAD commission a study of the CRSP model for USAID research and capacity building partnerships with U.S. universities in the areas of agriculture and related sciences. To view the full report, click here.
WORKING GROUP ON MINORITY SERVING INSTITUTIONS: EXPANDING THE ROLE OF MINORITY SERVING INSTITUTIONS IN THE WORK OF USAID
This report reflects a new level of energy and interest for engaging the U.S. Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) of higher education in USAID’s development agenda. Building on the outcomes of the MSI workshop in Washington, D.C. in late September, representatives from the 1890 land-grant and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Colleges and Universities, and the 1994 Land-Grant Tribal Colleges and Universities demonstrated the range of impacts they can have in global development at the BIFAD program at the World Food Prize in Des Moines in October 2010, along with the services they can offer to USAID, especially in small farming and rural development—areas that are becoming a bigger part of the Administration’s global food strategy. To view the full report, click here.
REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON REBUILDING FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRIES OF THE REPUBLIC OF HAITI
In the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD), which advises the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), organized a task force to assess what needed to be considered by USAID in order to rebuild that nation’s food and agriculture sectors. In January of 2011, the task force issued its report to Administrator of USAID, Dr. Rajiv Shah. The overall recommendation of the task force was for USAID to create a consortium led by U.S. land-grant universities. To view the full report, click here.
BIFAD: REPORT FROM THE CONFERENCE OF DEANS: HIGHER EDUCATION: A CRITICAL PARTNER IN GLOBAL AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
The Conference of Deans brought together 40 scholars who have invested their individual careers in the provision of an adequate and safe food supply for the people of the world. More importantly, they represented to a very significant extent the institutions that gave the world the last green revolution, and they are prepared to re-engage in that discourse. Let there be no misunderstanding; the paradigms that led to the green revolution were very much “made in America” by Title XII universities and their graduates who work in the laboratories and delivery systems of the private sector. To ignore that capacity and to fail to fully engage with the Title XII system would be sheer folly. To view the full report, click here.
TITLE XII: THE VISION, THE INSTITUTIONS, AND THE ACTIVITIES
A report prepared for the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) at the request of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) Title XII, “Famine Prevention and Freedom From Hunger,” is an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 that was initially signed into law in 1975 and amended in 2000. The legislation describes a “coordinated program” of several components that together have the potential to enhance agricultural development across the globe. The legislation identifies a leading role for U.S. universities to work with their many partners to achieve the goals of “ensuring food security, human health, agricultural growth, trade expansion, and the wise and sustainable use of natural resources”—agriculture in all its dimensions—through research, education, extension/outreach, and policy formulation. To view the full report, click here.
IMPLEMENTATION OF TITLE XII REPORT TO THE BOARD ON INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT JUNE 22, 2006
The subject of this paper, Title XII, needs to be understood in its historical context. Public Law 87-195, known more familiarly as the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), was a benchmark event in the history of modern development assistance. The persistence of that framework for foreign assistance for another 55 years has been a function of two factors: the wisdom that is incorporated into the provisions of that Act, and the insurmountable political hurdles that persist to writing a completely new authorization bill for the foreign assistance programs of this country. The treatment of agricultural programs, subjected to frequent and periodic amendments to the FAA with all the inconsistencies that result, is not unique in the panoply of development sectors. To view the full report, click here.