WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The population is set to grow from seven billion to nine billion people by 2050.
"As we look forward to the challenge of feeding a growing world technology and productivity are really critical questions and immediately you turn to the idea of improving plants," Purdue Dean of Agriculture Jay Akridge said.
And Purdue is doing just that. The university is investing $20 million in plant science research. Investing in research is just one of 10 initiatives Purdue president Mitch Daniels announced this week.
"It's what we were put here for all those years ago as a land-grant school and I'm just real excited about the ideas that have bubbled up for how we take the next step," Daniels said.
Akridge said the multi-million dollar investment will be used to hire 10 faculty members focusing on plant biology, build and repair facilities, and attract new students.
"That will be heavily focused on the student experience once they're here," Akridge said. "We want to make sure that they have a very rich research based experience while they're in our program."
"So they'll [students] come out with a lot of experiences that allow them to really get good jobs and make an impact on the world," Dean of Agricultural Research Karen Plaut said.
Purdue is already a leader in plant science research, but Plaut said researchers didn't always have the resources available to take what they learn in the lab to the field.
"But we don't have all the new tools that are available, so we're really excited to really look what all is out there," Plaut said.
"We wanted to make sure that there was a vehicle for helping move those into the hands of the farmer," Akridge said.
Akridge said many of these plans have been discussed for years, but funding was not available to move forward until now. He said the plans will move forward with the new hires and facilities as soon as possible.
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