September 15, 2014

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

A worker collects palm oil fruit inside a palm oil factory in Salak Tinggi, outside Kuala Lumpur, August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Samsul Said

AWhere Raises $7 Million to Help Farmers Cope with Climate Change
Big-data analytics firm aWhere Inc. has raised $7 million in funding to help farmers cope with erratic weather and climate change. The company combines public and proprietary data about weather, rainfall, soil quality, the pricing of a given crop or commodity, and more. It then analyzes that data to give users forecasts and reports to guide their business decisions.

Fungus Could Be the Key to Avoiding a Global Food Crisis
The startup Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies has developed an organic seed treatment it calls BioEnsure that allows crops like rice and corn to withstand severe droughts and extreme temperatures. It’s based on fungi that enable plants to grow in extreme heat. Adaptive recently was chosen as one of 17 nominees for USAID’s Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge.

Saving Seeds Can Strengthen Food Security
Native Seeds/SEARCH
, a local group in the American Southwest dedicated to strengthening food security, uses the indigenous technique of seed saving to prevent biocultural diversity loss. They say that strengthening food security through seed conservation techniques prevents against food crises.

Can These GMO Foods Save the World?
Not all GM foods are apples modified to be a brighter shade of red. Some really have the potential to feed millions of people in developing nations, and offer everything from resistance to disease and insects to a higher nutritive value. Read on to learn about 11 genetically modified foods that just might save the world.


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA


| By Roger Thurow

America's Oxymoron

It didn’t take long for the coronavirus to expose America’s shameful secret: hunger amid abundance.