AGRICULTURAL COMPETITIVENESS IN NJ AND THE US: NEW CROP OPTIONS

Project Details

Description

Agriculture is becoming more and more internationalized. The food of US consumers is already sourced from multiple countries. In addition, the US population is becoming increasingly diverse, with many different dietary preferences. Other nations are already important markets for US farmers, and are likely to become more so, as the standard of living increases world-wide. These developments create an opportunity to enhance the economic well-being and strategic interests of US farmers, processors and consumers by developing new crops that are important in other countries but are not yet cultivated on a wide-scale in the US. Examples include high-value crops that may confer health benefits to the consumer as well as crops that enhance national strategic interest, such as those that can serve as the feedstock for biofuels. These challenges will require educational programs that immerse students in the problems and challenges of international agriculture and which allow them to obtain first-hand experience addressing these problems. This project focuses on the domestication of high-value crops that are grown in other countries but that have not yet been developed for the US market. The crops of interest include both niche crops grown for local consumption as well as crops with potential in other applications such as processing and biofuels. The project will offer students an integrated course in International Agriculture and couple this to experiential learning on specific projects conducted between Rutgers and its international partners in Africa, Asia and South America. The project activities will build expertise, train students, establish research and educational programs between Rutgers and institutions in other countries, and create a pipeline for domesticating crops in NJ and the US.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date5/1/0812/31/09

Funding

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))

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