To translate scientific discoveries into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.
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According to the USDA National Agricultural Research, Education and Economics Advisory Board Report (2011), with a lag time of 25 years from research to commercialization, the U.S. is now paying for our lack of investment in agricultural research.
Their conclusions were:
- By 2050, worldwide demand for food and fiber is expected to grow by 70 percent.
- Funding for production agricultural research must be dramatically increased to keep American farmers competitive in future international markets and to continue being a net exporter of agricultural products.
- Worldwide demand for food, fiber and fuel cannot be met without a strong, well funded U.S. production agricultural initiative.
- High return on public agricultural research funding is due to its focus on improving production practices, genetic improvement and new uses, and unfortunately these areas of research are receiving less funding.
- Agricultural funding has moved away from production agriculture.
- China, India and Brazil are the largest public investors in production agricultural research and these countries will be the largest competitors to U.S. agricultural products in the future.
Solving Problems for Agriculture
At present, there exists a large unmet need for high-throughput genotyping services within U.S. agricultural research, food production and safety testing. The National Corn Growers Association in partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center proposes the establishment of a national center for agricultural genotyping to alleviate the inefficiencies, redundancies, bottlenecks and gaps that impede research and commercial development. The proposed National Agricultural Genotyping Center (NAGC) a 501(c)(3) corporation will contribute to maintaining the safety of our food supply, economic stability and national security by making high-throughput genotyping available to both private and public scientists from breeders all the way to quality control and food safety scientists.
Improving the Agricultural Sector
Safer Food Supply
Recent contaminated food outbreaks in the U.S. and abroad have resulted in deaths, serious illness and tremendous costs to economies. A recent study by Georgetown University found contaminated products in the U.S. result in total annual losses approaching $152 billion. By making it faster and easier to isolate contaminated products at the earliest points of the supply chain, we believe that high-throughput genotyping can protect consumers and help manufacturers avoid costly product recalls.
One of the most important ways the NAGC will improve U.S. competitiveness is by allowing the agricultural sector to leverage its fundamental strengths specifically, its technological prowess and world-class human expertise in research and development. By helping to unlock the value of the nation’s technology and expertise, the NAGC will improve the agricultural sector’s competitiveness in key areas: breeding, production, product quality, safety, and the rate of new product development.