Current Activities

Invasive Species Research Program: Request for Proposals

The ERS Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM) is pleased to announce a second round of competitive grants and cooperative agreements. The PREISM program, now in its second year, is soliciting research proposals in three broad topic areas: (1) stakeholders and incentives for efficient invasive species program management; (2) practical decision tools for invasive species management; and (3) trade and invasive species. Proposals should focus on economic research and/or decision support system development with direct implications for USDA policies and programs that address protection from, control or management of, regulation concerning, or trade policy relating to invasive species. Competitive funding in fiscal year 2004 is expected to be about $1.2 million. For more information on PREISM and the 2004 competitive grants and cooperative agreements program, visit the ERS Briefing Room on Invasive Species Management.

Allocating Resources to Manage Invasive Species and Pests

As part of ERS’s research program on the economics of invasive species, ERS and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) are developing a methodology for allocating resources to manage invasive species and pests. The effects of invasive species on production, trade, and the environment differ across species. A single methodology for ranking agricultural pests according to different effects will help policymakers to allocate resources in a consistent and transparent manner. A recent workshop with APHIS’s Center for Plant Health Science and Technology was one step in the process of constructing a methodology.

Collaboration With the Food and Agriculture Organization

ERS economists routinely collaborate with partners around the country and around the world, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy. In October 2003, Joseph Cooper served as the environmental economics advisor to FAO’s Roles of Agriculture Project, which analyzes the side effects (both beneficial and adverse) of agriculture in developing countries. Also at FAO in October, Keith Wiebe discussed shared research interests in land degradation and agricultural productivity, and Shahla Shapouri described ongoing ERS analysis of global food security.

How Are Changing Preferences Affecting World Food Markets?

ERS research indicates that, although consumer demand for processed food products continues to rise, trade may not keep pace with demand growth. Industry trends toward tighter coordination will encourage tailoring local product manufacturing to specific country markets. The global food industry will continue to evolve in response to specific consumer demands in individual markets. Strategies in developed countries are expected to focus on quality enhancement and consumer trust, while market expansion will be important in the growing developing country markets. In general, market forces are expected to push the global food industry toward greater efficiency, higher quality products, more integrated food supply chains, and fewer players. Future work in this area will focus on linkages between consumer markets and producers.

Ag Policy Information Reaches a Wider Audience