The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) invested a total of $15M in two key programs awarded through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT). NIFA awarded 18 Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics Tools grants(link is external) totaling $10.4 million to initiate research on big data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive technologies needed to keep U.S. agriculture on the leading edge of food and agricultural production. NIFA also invested $5.1 million for 12 Nanotechnology for Agricultural and Food Systems grants(link is external) to support nanotechnology-based solutions that improve food production, nutrition, sustainable agriculture and food safety.
“Big data and artificial intelligence will increasingly play a vital role in the future of agricultural technologies and innovation,” said NIFA Director Carrie Castille. “As we work to enhance farmer profitability and agricultural sustainability and realize precision nutrition for consumers, these technologies will keep research and development moving at a rapid pace to provide the tools needed for success.”