October 2, 2017

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

A farmer carry wheat crop on a field in the El-Menoufia governorate, north of Cairo, Egypt. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
The unique traits of local crop varieties are an essential asset if agriculture-dependent African economies are to weather the coming storms of climate change. Investing in agrobiodiversity innovations like this will yield tremendous returns, both in terms of rehabilitating ailing African economies and building a more sustainable, resilient, and nutritious food system for all.
The FAO has reported that the use of insects as food may have long-term benefits for the global food supply. “Bugs,” an entertaining and eye-opening documentary, will send moviegoers out with a feeling of culinary adventurousness, eager to sample well-prepared escamoles (ant larvae) or termite queen with mango.
The world has a jellyfish problem. Recently, they invaded a Scottish salmon farm, killing 300,000 fish overnight, shut down power stations, incapacitated a US nuclear warship, and had a significant socioeconomic impact on tourist areas. The answer? Cooking them, according to one Italian scientist.
An EU-funded index measuring biodiversity in food production is expected to be launched next year, giving investors a benchmark for assessing how companies and governments are making food systems more resilient to climate change. The research will form the basis of the Agrobiodiversity Index and will include concrete criteria for measuring progress toward greater agrobiodiversity.
Tens of thousands of rarely cultivated species could provide range of nutritious foods, resistant to disease and tolerant of the changing environment. But the destruction of wild areas, pollution, and overhunting has started a mass extinction of species on Earth. A new report sets out how both governments and companies can protect, enhance, and use the huge variety of little-known food crops. 



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 Millicent Yeboah-Awudzi

Next Generation 2018 - Dreams of Change

Our 12th post in the Next Generation blog series is by Millicent Yeboah-Awudzi, PhD candidate in applied plant science at Louisiana State University.