Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative (iAGRI)

Principal Investigator:

Mark Erbaugh and David Kraybill


usaid iagri osu


2011 - Present


Innovative Agricultural Research Initiative, or iAGRI (2011-2016), is a USAID- funded project to prepare the next generation of agricultural leadership and strengthen and integrate the core agricultural institutions of extension, research and education in Tanzania.   OSU is the managing entity for a consortium of five US universities including Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Tuskegee University, and Florida.  Key partners in Tanzania include the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and the National Agricultural Research and Extension System (NARES).  The project aims to prepare faculty, researchers, and extension practitioners in Tanzania to cooperatively and effectively address needs of smallholder farmers and the growing agribusiness sector for decades to come.  

Recent Developments:

June 2015: 10 Tanzanian M.Sc. Students from 5 departments at Ohio State presented their graduate research proposals at Ohio State's second annual iAGRI Graduate Student Research Forum, where they had the opportunity to hone their presentation skills in addition to receiving feedback on their research approach from other iAGRI students and advisors.

May 2015: Boniphace Massawe was the first iAGRI-funded Ph.D. student to graduate. Boniphace received his Ph.D. in Soil Science at Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources within 3 years and was advised by Brian Slater.

April 2015: The iAGRI project secured $4 million in additional funding from USAID to support its overall aim to improve food security in Tanzania.

January 15, 2015: In Morogoro, Tanzania, a workshop for faculty involved in any of iAGRI's Collaborative Research Projects was held so that participants could present progress reports pointing to their experiences, constraints and successes in the implementation of their research throughout the past eighteen months. Ohio State faculty and researchers who participated included Mark Erbaugh, David Hansen, Sally Miller, Cathy Rakowski, and Patrick Bell (Ph.D. student, Environmental Sciences).

August, 2014: iAGRI's 4th Cohort of Tanzanians students will begin their graduate degree programs in 5 U.S. universities, Sokoine University of Agriculture, and Makerere University in Uganda. At the Ohio State Univerisity, 9 students will be enrolled in four different departments within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, while 1 student will study human nutrition within the College of Education and Human Ecology. 

April, 2014: A number of iAGRI-sponsored  graduate students studying in the U.S. and Tanzania express their gratitude to USAID and the American people for the educational opportunities that have been made possible through the iAGRI Project. 

November, 2013: A recent conference was organized entitled “Climate Change, Sustainable Intensification and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa” in Morogoro, Tanzania. The conference hosted more than 100 participants from 14 different nations and featured seminars in 11 topical areas including climate change and crop yield, nutrient and water management, and human dimensions of terrestrial carbon management. OSU faculty that served on the conference steering committee included iAGRI Project Director, Dr. David Kraybill, Dr. Rattan Lal, Professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources; and Dr. David Hansen, Professor Emeritus and iAGRI Project Coordinator.

July, 2013: Rita Mirondo, a doctoral student in the Department of Food Science and Technology and iAGRI Fellow, was invited to be one of three panelists for a discussion entitled "Feed the Future: Growing Innovation, Harvesting Results". The purpose of the event was to highlight advances in global food security being made by the U.S. Agency for International Development's Feed the Future initiative. Mirondo discussed the subsistence-level farm production common throughout Tanzania, and said a transition to commercial agricultural and food-processing practices is sorely needed. Video of the event can be viewed below.

May, 2013 - Two iAGRI-sponsored students, Boniface Massawe and Nafeti Mheni, were awarded Norman Borlaug LEAP fellowships. These fellowships are funded by USAID and are intended to enhance the quality of thesis research of graduate students from developing countries by covering research and travel expenses of the student and their faculty mentor(s).

Annual Reports:

iAGRI Annual Report - 2015

iAGRI Annual Report - 2014

iAGRI Annual Report - 2013

iAGRI Annual Report - 2012

iAGRI Annual Report - 2011