October 6, 2014

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

Livestock Insurance Could Protect Cattle-Herders in Africa from Drought
Index-Based Livestock Insurance, being piloted in Kenya, uses data from satellite imagery to assess the impact of drought on the vegetation that livestock need to survive, allowing insured pastoralists to receive a pay-out in times of drought based on predicted rather than actual livestock deaths. It is a promising option for addressing poverty traps that arise from catastrophic drought risk.

What Do African Farmers Want? More Manure
The Guardian Project Foundation’s initiative works as a pay-it-forward scheme, with farmers given a female sheep or goat as an interest free loan. Access to manure from the animal can increase crop yields by up to 300%. The increased income and greater stability in the communities involved in the project has led to significant improvements outside farming and food, including in healthcare and education.

Arctic Greenhouse Provides Locals Fresh Produce Year-Round
A greenhouse based in a northern Canadian community is providing fresh local produce for residents of the Arctic region for the first time. The greenhouse will help improve local food security by extending the growing season past the summer months.

Solar Energy: A Sunflower Solution to Electricity Shortage
IBM revealed the prototype of its advanced solar electricity generators: the machines can convert 80% of the sun’s radiation into electricity and hot water. At present, about 1.3 billion people have no access to electricity. However, that figure is dwarfed by the number—2.5 billion—who have no access to proper sanitation; a number that is currently increasing at a rate of 9% a year. 


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