The U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday an investment of up to $6.3 million to advance research for the use of plant feedstocks for production of biofuels.

The Obama administration says its investment is to help reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.

Part of the solution to the energy problem will be home-grown energy crops, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement today.

'Helping expand and diversify production of biofuels is an example of the Obama Administration's commitment to developing a sustainable domestic biofuels industry that can help strengthen rural America while decreasing our dependence on foreign oil,' said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in the statement.

A total of seven projects were selected and will be funded under a joint program between the DOE and the USDA that began in 2006. The DOE will fund four projects with $4 million while the USDA will fund three with $2.3 million.

The USDA-ARS Northern Plains Area, USDA-ARS Western Regional Research Center , the Michigan Technological University and the Universities of Florida, Nebraska and Georgia will be in charge of the research.