Kansas State University has won a five-year $8.5 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop ways to cut the loss of food after it is harvested.
The new Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss is part of the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative, called Feed the Future. The lab will focus on helping Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana and Guatemala reduce post-harvest losses and food waste for grain and oil seed crops, tuberous root crops, and peanut and legume crops. The lab plans later expansion of its research to other countries.
Researchers will study how to prevent insect pests and mycotoxins, as well as how to improve measurement, drying and storage techniques. They also will use communication, training and education to help improve nutrition.
“As much as a third to half of the world's harvest is lost every year for a variety of reasons,” said John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. “Through this innovation lab, we will work toward solutions that reduce post-harvest losses and help preserve greater quantity and better quality food for the world's growing population. By doing so, we will also help reduce the waste of the precious natural resources used to produce our food.”
It is the third Feed the Future Innovation Lab established at K-State in the last five months, bringing more than $27.2 million to the university.