October 16, 2017

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

Ears of wheat are seen during sunset in a field of the Intikulskoye farm outside the Siberian village of Tolsty Mys, in Krasnoyarsk region, Russia. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Global Food Security Symposium March 21 and 22, 2018 in Washington, DC! Do you know of a student who is interested in shaping new ideas for food security and agricultural development? Encourage them to apply now to join the 2018 Next Generation Student Delegation. Applications are due on or before Sunday, November 5.
20 million people are on the brink of famine across four countries in the Middle East and Africa—northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Here’s what you should know about the world’s largest humanitarian crisis since WWII from Marcus Glassman, Research Associate for the Global Food and Agriculture Program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
For 12,000 years, human agriculture has cultivated grains that are replanted every year, at enormous environmental cost; kernza represents a new way forward. While wheat must be planted year after year, kernza can survive from season to season. This helps rebuild topsoil year after year instead of tearing it apart every season. This leads to more nutrients in the soil and better carbon sequestration.
A transformation from small-scale subsistence to mechanized farms is essential, said experts. If Africa were to increase productivity on farms, there would immediately be increases the incomes and livelihoods of about 60-70 percent of people. Recommendations include increasing the rights of female farmers, embracing modern technology, and changing land tenure systems.
According to the FAO, young people growing up in rural Africa need jobs so they are not forced to join the growing ranks of poor seeking work in cities. By 2030, there will be about 1.3 billion people 15 to 24 years old on the planet, some 100 million more than in 2015. Industrial and service sectors have not grown enough to meet the demand of new job seekers.
The first-ever roadmap to combat animal tuberculosis (bovine TB) and its transmission to humans, most often through consumption of contaminated untreated meat or dairy products from diseased animals, calls for close collaboration between those working to improve health. New data released by the WHO estimates that over 140,000 people fall ill and more than 12,000 people die each year due to bovine TB.


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.