The United States and India plan to work together to promote food security in Africa, a part of the world where China has been expanding its presence.
A senior administration official said the initiative, which will harness know-how and technology, was being worked out during President Barack Obama's visit to India, where he arrived on Saturday at the start of a 10-day tour of Asia.
"It will work specifically in research collaborations around particular crops...we have an opportunity, working together, to address hunger around the world," said the official.
The project will involve countries in southern, eastern and western Africa, as well as pan-African institutions.
Obama on Sunday will visit exhibitions on agriculture and food security, as well as open government and technology, during a visit to the St. Xavier College in Mumbai where students will also get an opportunity to ask questions.
"India probably has the most dynamic, innovative public partnership-orientated approach to agriculture in terms of the incorporation of technology," USAID Administrator Raj Shah told Reuters in an interview.
"We see great potential in bringing a lot of that technology, know-how, expertise and commitment to improving small-holder agriculture to sub-Saharan Africa," he said.
(Reporting by Alister bull, editing by Ralph Boulton)