August 21, 2017

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

Workers check a pond, which can hold up to 40,000 fish, during a daily inspection of the nets at a Tasmanian salmon farm owned by Huon Aquaculture Group Ltd located at Hideaway Bay, south of Hobart. IPO-HUON/ REUTERS/David Gray 

Can We Feed the World with Farmed Fish?
For years, scientists and activists have sounded the alarm that humans' appetite for seafood is outpacing what fishermen can sustainably catch. But new research suggests there is space in the ocean for farming most of the seafood humans need. But while the production potential of aquaculture is clearly large, the environmental impact—both positive and negative—can be equally large, depending on how aquaculture practices are used. 

Three Ways to Invest in Youth Optimism
Young people will play a critical role in achieving the peaceful, prosperous world envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals. To harness their energy, aptitudes, and ideas, and to understand what specific actions should be taken to assist them in reaching their potential, the global community must listen to what they say—and heed their advice.  

Guest Commentary – The New Wave of Agricultural Extension
Agricultural extension services have served as a vital tool in spreading critical knowledge to farmers—helping them produce more profitable harvests, and ultimately, escape poverty and hunger. However, many extension programs—where they exist at all—are failing to reach smallholder farmers in a way that is effective in spreading scientific research to better agricultural productivity. That’s why agricultural extensionists have begun to explore a new way to spread crucial information: digital animations.

Five Food Apps That Make It Easy to Eat Sustainably
In case you didn’t know, there will be north of nine billion people in the world by 2050. If we plan on feeding everyone without draining the planet's resources (water, rainforests, etc.), we need to eat sustainably. Thanks to these food apps, you can find the right food with minimal effort.

Baltimore Farm-In-A-Box a Potential Catalyst in Urban Revitalization
Leafy greens grow profusely at the tiny East Baltimore farm, but not in parallel rows in the ground. They pop out of vertical white troughs that hang from a metal ceiling. This is Urban Pastoral Collective, a two-year-old business with a dual mission: to produce and sell fresh, whole foods in an urban setting and to help leverage the value of such foods to transform the way Americans live and interact in cities.

The War on Food Waste Has a New Weapon: A £99 Fridge Camera
The world’s first wireless refrigerator camera is going on sale in the UK to help households slash food waste. The Smarter FridgeCam camera and app lets users check exactly what they have in their refrigerator at any time, monitors use-by dates, suggests recipes incorporating the foods users already have in their fridge, and sends out automatic reminders to, among other things, buy more milk.


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 Laura Glenn O'Carroll

Climate Solutions, Economic Growth, Global Stability? Rural Girls Hold the Key

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is thrilled to announce a new blog series, Stakeholder Girls, which highlights the central role that rural girls must play in consideration of the 2018 G7 priority theme areas. Each week in June, as the leadership of the G7 meets, we will discuss the central role of rural girls in responding to climate change, preparing for the future of work, economic growth and equality, and building a more secure world. If leaders do not consider the unique strengthens and concerns of rural girls, progress on each of these themes will be curtailed.

| By April Dodd

Guest Commentary - World Milk Day Celebrates Small Farmers

Farmers worldwide care for about 365 million dairy cattle. In developing countries, most farmers’ herds are very small, containing just 2-3 cows on average. Small herds support family nutrition and are sources of year-round income through milk sales.