SASKATOON - A former chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture is to be at the head of the table at a new centre that is being developed in Saskatoon to study food supply.

Roger Beachy has been named as the executive director and CEO of the Global Institute for Food Security.

Beachy is internationally recognized for groundbreaking research in food crops, production agriculture and biotechnology in agriculture, nutrition and human health.

He was also the first director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the United States.

The food security institute, to be based at the University of Saskatchewan, will look at everything from boosting crop yields to government agricultural policies.

It was launched last month with $35 million from Saskatoon-based PotashCorp (TSX:POT) -- the world's largest producer of fertilizer -- and $15 million from the province.