Board for International Food and Agricultural Development

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BIFAD

The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) advises USAID on agriculture and higher education issues pertinent to food insecurity in developing countries. The President appoints members, who primarily represent the academic community. BIFAD was established by Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act. The Board and Title XII recognize the critical role of U.S. land-grant institutions in agricultural development, domestically and abroad, and support their representation in USAID development programs.

BOARD MEMBERS

For questions, please contact the Designated Federal Officer for BIFAD, Clara Cohen, at ccohen@usaid.gov or 202-712-0119.

2021 Call for Nominations: BIFAD Award for Scientific Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab

The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), is pleased to announce the Call for Nominations for the 2021 BIFAD Awards for Scientific Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab. The Feed the Future Innovation Labs draw on the expertise of top U.S. universities and developing country research institutions to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges to strengthen the resiliency of food and agricultural systems. 

Click here for more information and here to submit a nomination.  

The Critical Role of Research and Development in Resilient and Sustainable Food Systems

A Side Event of the U.N. Food Systems Summit Science Days 

The Critical role of research and development in achieving resilient and sustainable food systems. July 7, 2021, 4:00 - UN Food Systems Summit

Hosted by USAID, the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes, and the Alliance for African Partnership

July 7, 2021, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (GMT -4) (90 minutes, virtual)

To register, click here

Please join this panel presentation and open forum discussion, a side event to the U.N. Food Systems Summit Science Days. Leaders across the private and public research and development sectors identify and discuss the key actions needed to advance adaptive agricultural research and to develop an enabling policy environment to support the steady stream of technological innovations necessary for resilient and sustainable food systems.

The discussion will review evidence of evolving economic transformation and progress towards resilience in sub-Saharan Africa from the BIFAD-commissioned Agricultural Productivity Growth, Resilience, and Economic Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa report and the World Bank publication, Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture. Together, panelists and participants will identify lessons learned from countries in which substantial investments in adaptive agricultural research and development and extension systems have shown the catalytic role of productivity-led agricultural growth in contributing to employment, resilience, and economic transformation.

Launch of BIFAD-Commissioned Report, Agricultural Productivity Growth, Resilience, and Economic Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for USAID 

To read the full report, click here

To read the policy brief, click here.

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. 

Key Findings:  Mounting evidence points to profound economic transformation in SSA since the early 2000s.  Across a broad range of indicators—health, life expectancy, education, public service delivery, government effectiveness, and public investment in future economic transformation—most African countries have made remarkable progress. While agricultural production growth has been a major driver of SSA’s economic transformation and improvements in living standards, production growth has been achieved mainly through the expansion of cropped area rather than through productivity growth. Those countries in Africa and Asia that have made substantial investments in adaptive agricultural research and development and extension (R&D&E) systems have shown the catalytic role of productivity-led agricultural growth in contributing to employment, resilience, and economic transformation. The challenges from uneven economic growth and development across the low-income, lower-middle-income, fragile, and resource-rich states point to different programmatic responses.  

Recommendations: The report recommends that USAID contribute to economic transformation and resilience by supporting African governments and other partners across the following opportunity areas: 1) Supporting COVID-19 recovery;  2) Accelerating productivity-led agricultural growth; 3) Expanding employment opportunities for young Africans; 4) Achieving economic empowerment for women; 5) Capturing the opportunities for intra-African agricultural trade and supporting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement; 6) Reducing the rural infrastructural deficit; 7) Leveraging USAID strengths in institutional capacity development; and 8) Leveraging USAID convening power and U.S. global leadership in agricultural innovation. 

Report Authors: T. S. Jayne is University Foundation Professor of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University. Louise Fox is Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Visiting Scholar at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California Berkeley, and former Chief Economist at USAID. Keith Fuglie is Senior Economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service and formerly Senior Economist in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, USAID. Adesoji Adelaja is the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Policy, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University.

183rd BIFAD Public Meeting

Agricultural Growth, Economic Transformation, and the Journey to Self-Reliance: Implications for USAID Programming

October 13, 2020, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT (2.5 hours, virtual)

To see the agenda, click here

To view the meeting recording, click here

To see the meeting minutes, click here

A public meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), Agricultural Growth, Economic Transformation, and the Journey to Self-Reliance: Implications for USAID Programming, was held on October 13, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm EDT. A public comment period took place from 3:00 to 3:20 pm, EDT.  The meeting was livestreamed livestreamed via Zoom. 

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is reorienting its strategies, partnership models, and program practices to achieve greater development outcomes and strive toward a future where foreign assistance is no longer necessary. The approach, outlined in the Agency’s Policy Framework, emphasizes the concept of “self-reliance”—defined as the capacity and commitment of a country to plan, finance, and implement solutions to solve its own development challenges in an effective, inclusive, and accountable way.

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.

On the basis of testimony, including public comments, shared at the meeting, BIFAD provided formal findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Agency on best-bet operational and programmatic investments for catalyzing agricultural productivity and economic transformation.

 

182nd BIFAD Public Meeting

COVID-19 and Nutrition:  Impacts, Field Innovations, and the Way Forward

September 14, 2020, 10:00 am -12:30 pm EDT, 2.5 hours (virtual)

To view the agenda, click here

To access a recording of the meeting, click here, using Zoom passcode 6f3YY$YJ.

To access minutes of the meeting, click here

To see findings, conclusions, and recommendations from the meeting, click here.  

To see the Agency response to BIFAD recommendations, click here

A public meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), COVID-19 and Nutrition: Impacts, Field Innovations, and the Way Forward was held on September 14, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT.  A public comment period took place from 11:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EDT.

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.

The meeting provided dedicated time to discuss how the global community can work together to protect and advance nutrition outcomes across sectors during COVID-19 response and recovery. In real time, researchers and implementers are gathering evidence to better understand the impacts of the pandemic and learning how to respond.

The meeting was organized to achieve three objectives:

1. To provide an update on what emerging research and data can tell us about the current and expected impacts of COVID-19 containment and control measures on nutrition, and how we should use this emerging evidence to guide our response.

2. To learn from our implementing partners and USAID Missions across sectors that have pivoted their implementation to respond to COVID-19 and protect nutrition outcomes. To understand the realities on the ground, and to include the innovations and expertise of those on the frontlines in the discourse.

3. To discuss and prioritize actions for the near, medium, and long term to safeguard and accelerate nutrition progress.

The meeting was intended to help support decision making by USAID and its partners and stakeholders working to advance food security and nutrition at global, regional and national levels. On the basis of testimony, including public comments, shared at the meeting, BIFAD provided formal findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Agency on best-bet operational and programmatic investments.

 

181st BIFAD Public Meeting

Food Security and Nutrition in the Context of COVID-19:  Impacts and Interventions

June 4 2020, 1:30 to 3:30 pm EDT

To view the agenda and presentations, click here.

To hear a recording of the public meeting, click here.  

To view findings, conclusions, and recommendations, click here

To view minutes of the meeting, click here

To view the Agency response to BIFAD's recommendations, click here

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. The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), an advisory committee to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), convened a virtual public meeting to share the thinking of leading experts in food security and nutrition that relates to COVID-19 impacts. 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 included presentations of credible modeling data about the scale and breadth of anticipated food security impacts in the developing world and a summary spanning near to longer-term interventions and guidance that may help to mitigate COVID-19 impacts. The meeting also provided leading sources of curated information (e.g., landing pages for information related to the crisis and response). 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.

The meeting was a 2-hour webinar, open to the public, with an expert panel and a 20-minute public comment period from 3:10 to 3:30 pm. The recorded audio and video and meeting minutes are available in archive form.  On the basis of testimony, including public comments shared at the meeting, BIFAD provided formal findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Agency on best-bet operational and programmatic investments. 

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Last updated: August 19, 2021

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