October 14, 2014

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Can Coffee Stimulate Renewable Energy in Central America
Coffee waste water is rich in organic matter, which can be used to generate energy via anaerobic decomposition. At present, the negative environmental impacts of waste water are not considered in the cost of coffee, but neither are the economic benefits that extracting its energy potential could bring.

How Three Teens Used Bacteria to Tackle Global Food Poverty
Three high-schoolers from Ireland discovered a bacterial treatment for cereal crop seeds that could potentially increase yields in areas stricken by famine. The bacteria helped the seeds to germinate much faster than usual and the students are now looking to apply their method in famine-prone areas.

The Amish Farmers Reinventing Organic Agriculture
Modern agriculture uses fertilizer specifically to increase yields, with little awareness of the nutritional needs of other organic functions. But consulting firm Advancing Eco Agriculture has discovered deficiencies in important plant trace minerals which farmers can then introduce into the soil. With plants able to defend themselves, pesticides can be avoided.

William Dar Advocates Easier Access to Published Research
Today, nearly 1 billion people suffer from hunger. Many of these are smallholder farming families in developing countries. Solutions exist, nurtured by many agricultural research institutions but far too often, these innovations remain confidential, adopted by few. Academic experts and students in the emerging world need to participate fully in the new knowledge economy. 


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