USAID Allocates $30 Million to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the allocation of $30 million to the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The money has been allocated under Feed the Future, a U.S. Government initiative to address global hunger and food security.

The announcement on the allocation of this grant was made during an event where the important role of research and innovation in ending world hunger was recognized. Members of Congress and other important partners from the development community attended the event, Erudera.com reports.

In a media release issued this week, USAID said that such investments are critical to redefine what can be done to end world hunger and poverty as well as to respond to the trouble caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the current global hunger crisis that the world is facing.

“The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research award provides researchers, agricultural extensionists, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and smallholder farmers with critical information and technology to advance soybean development in sub-Saharan Africa,” USAID said in the statement posted on its website.

It further pointed out that the $30 million award builds on the previous leadership of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean from the University of Illinois.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was established in 1867 as Illinois Industrial University and was renamed the University of Illinois in 1885. Today, the institution is known as a world-class university, leader in research, teaching and public engagement.

The university ranks among the best five universities for NSF-funded research, and its annual funding for research surpasses $600 million. In 2020, 52,331 students were enrolled at the University of Illinois.

In 2021/22, the U.S. News and World Report’s ranked Illinois No. 15 public university and No. 47 national university, while Open Doors ranks the school first among public universities in the number of international students. In the academic year 2020/21, the University of Illinois hosted a total of 12,838 international students.

Feed the Future Innovation Labs, led by universities in the United States and financed by USAID, work to address some of the world’s biggest challenges on hunger and agriculture. Feed the Future is currently working in 12 countries; Ethiopia, Ghana, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda.

Last year, USAID allocated $5 million to the University of Illinois for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research.

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