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Indian-American Scientist Dr. Parag Chitnis Appointed as Acting Director of National Institute of Food & Agriculture

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap
Parag chitnis

Indian American scientist, Dr Parag Chitnis has been appointed as the acting director of top US agriculture research firm, the prestigious National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The NIFA is the main driver of all federally funded agricultural research in the United States. 

Chitnis was named Associate Director for Programmes earlier this year and leads the implementation of NIFA's approximately USD 1.7 billion research projects. 

"Dr Chitnis brings more than 31 years of scientific research and experience to the Director's office," US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said while announcing the name of Chitnis as NIFA's Acting Director. 

Chitnis replaces Dr Scott Angle who accepted a position as Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida in Gainesville. 


Parag Chitnis had done his BSc in botany from Maharashtra's Konkan Agricultural University and MSc in genetics and biochemistry from New Delhi-based Indian Agricultural Research Institute. He later did his PhD in biology from the University of California in Los Angeles. 

Chitnis is known to have been instrumental in providing steady leadership support to NIFA during its transition phase to Kansas City last fall. He has also played a leading role in NIFA's CAFE initiative (Collaboratively Achieving Functional Excellence). The CAFE initiative aims to help NIFA maximize its business operations to help it better serve its customers. 

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture was created under the mandate of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. It is subordinate to the US Department of Agriculture. 

The main objective of the organisation is to consolidate all federally funded agricultural research.  The NIFA aims to stimulate and fund agricultural research and technological innovations that will make American agriculture more productive and environmentally sustainable, at the same time ensuring the economic viability of agriculture and production. 

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