New Southeastern Project to Enhance Organic Farming Funded by $2M Grant From USDA/NIFA

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲
Project leaders and advisory members for the project

5/11/2022 – This project is now complete. Dr. Kokoasse Kpomblekou continues to lead organic research and extension projects in Alabama.

The College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences at Tuskegee University has been awarded a competitive USDA/NIFA grant of $2,000,000 to strengthen organic farming infrastructure in the Southeast. This multi-state, multi-disciplinary project includes the priorities of stakeholders for facilitating an organic agriculture initiative in the Southeast. The U.S. market for organic produce is estimated at $31.5 billion dollars.

With the exception of North Carolina and Florida, the Southeast remains behind in organic production and imports most of its organic produce from California, the Midwest, the Northeast, or Mexico. With high consumer demands, organic growers have the potential to grow organic foods and sell them at competitive prices in local farmers markets and to retailers, provided that they are backed up by strong research and extension support programs.
Dr. Kokoasse Kpomblekou, the project director, and colleagues said that there are urgent needs to help residents of the Southeast improve their diets and health. The Southeast has among the highest incidences of diet-related diseases in the nation. Major contributing factors are low consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and a high percentage of residents with low income. Other contributing factors include a tradition of support for conventional farming techniques and lack of support for organic farming techniques in some of the land grant institutions and cooperative extension systems.
For consumers who demand organic foods, there are now a few grocery store chains that specialize in organic products. However those stores in the Southeast do not stock many locally grown organic products because they have not been able to source them. Consequently, there is a gap between demand and supply. For example, Alabama lacks statistics regarding the demand for organic foods because almost no research has been conducted regarding the amount of money Alabama consumers spend on organic produce at these grocery stores. This is a vital research need that will be accomplished with this grant.

A consortium of agricultural institutions in the Southeast, led by Tuskegee University, has come together with the aim of facilitating the development of a strong and vibrant organic farming industry in the Southeast through consumer education, market development, and effective educational support for farmers and extension personnel. Through the project, these partnering institutions (Auburn University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, Alabama Sustainable Agricultural Network and Oregon State University) will provide research and extension support needed to strengthen organic farming infrastructure in the Southeast, create economic opportunities for limited-resource organic producers, and contribute to long-term profitability and sustainability of organic agriculture.

People at the first planning meeting
Dr. Jeanine Davis in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University will lead the extension efforts for the project.
(this is a slightly edited version of a press release from Tuskegee University)