April 25, 2023 – Muscle Shoals, AL – The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is pleased to announce that Congressman Robert Aderholt has committed to presenting a request from IFDC to the House Committee on Appropriations for Community Project Funding (CPF). The U.S. $5 million request will fund the construction and refurbishment of facilities to develop a Soil Health and Plant Nutrition Innovation Center in Muscle Shoals, AL.
The Soil Health and Plant Nutrition Innovation Center will serve as a hub for agricultural research innovators to collaborate and develop emerging new enterprises in partnership with each other. The Center will catalyze and encourage local economic development and investment in the region, creating at least 150 new jobs, which will add $5-$10 million of additional income to the area each year and provide more opportunities for the local community to partner and engage with universities across the region.
“IFDC is thrilled that Mr. Aderholt has requested funding, which if signed into law, would support the development of IFDC’s much-needed facility for agricultural research and innovation in the Shoals area,” said Henk van Duijn, President and CEO of IFDC. “The U.S. $5 million from this funding would be a critical investment from the government in this project, creating 150 new jobs and adding $5-$10 million of additional revenue for the area each year.”
With the refurbishment of two labs and a greenhouse through this funding, IFDC is also establishing a center of excellence that brings together universities, the fertilizer industry, government entities, and startups to contribute toward the completion of the U.S. $13 million Phase 1 of the innovation center. Partners are already joining IFDC in this venture, such as Tuskegee University to significantly contribute to the improved productivity of small farmers living and working in the Black Belt region of central Alabama, an area home to generally underserved and underprivileged African American communities. This group of beneficiaries well represent those intended to be supported through the CPF request.
Additional phases of the project will total at least U.S. $40 million to complete renovations and establish experimental research facilities, additional greenhouses, a state-of-the-art fertilizer pilot plant, training facilities, and more.