PlantVillage founder and director David Hughes is among three chosen to lead the USAID's Feed the Future program's new innovation Lab on Current and Emerging threats to Crops after Penn State University won a whopping $39 million grant for the course.
"The lab will serve as a venue for a broad coalition of experts from around the world to collaborate on novel approaches to monitor, predict and combat current and emerging threats to crops. The team will focus its efforts in West Africa, East/Southern Africa, South/Southeast Asia and Central America," reads a paragraph in an article on the Penn State University website.
The director expressed delight for being awarded the chance.
"We are delighted and honored to be chosen to lead the USAID
new Innovation Lab on Current and Emerging threats to Crops," he tweeted.
The director has also explained how controlling pests and diseases is pertinent to economic growth for small scale farmers.
“Pests, diseases and weeds are chronic burdens that prevent smallholder farmers from achieving economic prosperity,” said Hughes. “Increased trade and climate change are increasing this burden, which necessitates innovative research for development that is rapidly deployed into farmer fields."