March 4, 2014: The Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment has been awarded a $789,000 grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to boost crop yields of plants like chickpeas and soybeans.The grant, facilitated by the New York-based American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU), a not-for-profit organization that garners support for the Hebrew University in the U.S., will allow for the creation of a Unit of Correlative Microscopy at the University’s Rehovot campus.
Through the use of advanced microscopy equipment, researchers will be able to study the tissue and cell makeup of crops like soybeans and chickpeas grown under stressful environmental conditions.
The goal of this research unit, funded by USAID’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad program (ASHA), is to boost crop yields by improving plant-breeding techniques. Previously, this USAID program funded a $400,000 grant to the University's Rehovot campus in 2013 to upgrade its Phytotron climate-controlled greenhouse.
“AFHU is delighted to continue this vital partnership between The Hebrew University and ASHA,” said Beth McCoy, national executive director of AFHU. “ASHA’S commitment to assist developing nations is enhanced by the Hebrew University’s efforts to help feed the world by developing tools and methods to grow hardy, healthful crops under challenging environmental conditions. The university has great expertise in plant sciences, knowledge that is urgent in light of rapid population growth worldwide.”
For full article in the Jerusalem Post, click here.