Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish Request for Applications

Deadline: May 24th, 2019 11:59 PM EDT

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FTF is the U.S. Government’s (USG) global hunger and food security initiative. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the FTF Innovation Lab for Fish (Fish Innovation Lab or FIL) has the overarching goal of alleviating poverty and improving nutrition through the reliable provision of fish as an animal protein source. To achieve this goal, the FIL will fund country-focused research and capacity building projects implemented through competitive research grants. These grants will form an integrated and multidisciplinary research program that enables the long-term sustainable development of private infrastructure and small farm/fisheries producers in Africa and Asia. Mississippi State University (MSU), the FIL Management Entity (ME), will coordinate and manage this global research for development program.

Fish are a nutrient-rich and highly traded food commodity; as such, they are a unique global resource that offers opportunity for the Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative to accomplish the goals of the Global Food Security Strategy for sustainable and equitable agriculture-led economic growth, strengthened resilience in people and systems, and improved nutrition—particularly for women and children. In the developing world, more than 2.6 billion people depend on fish and aquaculture products for more than 20% of their total animal protein—and in the FTF countries of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Indonesia, fish constitute over 50% of animal protein intake (FAO. 2018. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018 - Meeting the sustainable development goals. Rome. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO). To meet the growing demand for food and quality protein (especially animal source protein), reduce potential conflicts over natural resources, and ensure equitable access to fish in developing countries, innovations are needed in both aquaculture and fisheries to foster sustainable, resilient, inclusive, and profitable production and marketing systems. The aquaculture and fisheries sectors are important to global food security because: 1) Fish provide high-quality animal protein and micronutrients, including vitamins A, B12, zinc, iron, and selenium. In many of the FTF countries (examples listed above), fish are the primary source of animal protein; thus, increased consumption of fish and/or fish products has potential to reduce childhood stunting and improve brain development and function. 2) Fish are one of the most widely traded agricultural commodities worldwide; thus, increased trade (local and regional) has potential to improve livelihoods and increase incomes. 3) Aquaculture and fisheries provide formal and informal employment opportunities for women and youth. 4) Aquaculture enables diversification of farming systems through opportunities such as integrated aquaculture, providing increased economic resilience for producers.

This Request for Applications (RFA) focuses on FTF target and aligned countries in West Africa, East Africa, and Asia. Current FIL activities are in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia. The research for development priorities in this RFA were developed through stakeholder consultations in each country. Other FTF target and aligned countries may be considered if sound justification is provided.