FFAR Breakthrough Crop Challenge

FFAR Accepting Applications for Harvest for Health Breakthrough Crop Challenge

by | Jun 13, 2024

FFAR Breakthrough Crop Challenge
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WASHINGTON (June 12, 2024) — The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) is now accepting Harvest for Health Breakthrough Crop Challenge applications. Harvest for Health is accelerating the development of underutilized crops to increase the diversity of foods in the marketplace. The Harvest for Health Breakthrough Crop Challenge invites applicants to submit predictive models that can screen underutilized crops to determine a crop’s usefulness as a source of functional ingredients or nutrients. FFAR and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) will award $1 million to the applicant with the winning predictive model.

Of more than 50,000 known edible plant species, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that only three crops — rice, wheat and maize — account for two-thirds of the world’s food supply. As a result, many nutritious, resilient crops remain underutilized, contributing to poor dietary diversity and health outcomes.

FFAR quote

FFAR partnered with GAIN, with funding from RF Catalytic Capital (RFCC), The Rockefeller Foundation’s public charity, to launch the Harvest for Health Initiative to accelerate the development of underutilized crops, increasing the diversity of foods in the marketplace. 

Applications to the Harvest for Health Breakthrough Crop Challenge will be reviewed by an expert review panel, and $1 million will be awarded to the selected predictive model that meets all requirements outlined in the application criteria, available on the FFAR website. The application submission deadline is August 7, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. FFAR hosted an informational webinar in October 2023 that detailed application requirements and answered frequently asked questions. The webinar recording is available on the FFAR website.

“Underutilized crops have the potential to diversify the world’s food supply,” said Dr. Constance Gewa, FFAR senior program director. “A more diverse food supply provides consumers with more healthful food options, sustainably contributes to a more resilient food system and improves nutritional security in the wake of climate change.”

FFAR welcomes applications from all domestic and international higher education institutions, non-profit and for-profit organizations and U.S. government-affiliated research agencies. FFAR also highly encourages applications from Hispanic-serving institutions, 1890s Land-Grant Institutions and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. FFAR and GAIN reserve the right not to issue funds if no predictive model meets all outlined criteria.


Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.

Connect: @FoundationFAR