October 23, 2017

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

A worker sorts tomatoes at a warehouse of Yuzhny agricultural complex in the town of Ust-Dzheguta, in the republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia, Russia. REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko

Food and Security Symposium 2018: Mark Your Calendars and Engage the Next Generation
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.

This New Tool is the Latest Effort by the Gates Foundation to Bring Innovation to Payment Infrastructure
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will release free and open source software to address the lack of interoperability between financial service providers and payments platforms. The code is called Mojaloop, building on the Swahili word moja, which means one. The Gates Foundation expects the code will serve as a reference model for payment operability across Africa and Asia.

Featured Commentary—Recipe for Creating Zero Hunger
Ertharin Cousin says that ending hunger and chronic malnutrition remains within our grasp. The ingredients required for ending hunger also include-sustainable and durable food systems (from fork to farm), elimination of malnutrition (particularly stunting), elimination of food waste, and universal access to nutritious food all year long-all quite feasible. 

A MacArthur ‘Genius’ on Overcoming Modern Farm Slavery
Greg Asbed was just awarded a fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation to support his work in agricultural slavery. He recently got companies like McDonald’s and Walmart to agree to pay a small premium for each unit of crop they purchase. In return, growers agree to abide by a code of conduct on issues like worker safety and pay. Asbed plans to put the entirety of his grant back into the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

How Data Science and Gene Editing Will Transform Farming
Now there are new technologies on the rise that promise to reshape the world of agriculture. Gene editing lets scientists remove negative traits from an organism or add positive ones without introducing any foreign DNA. Proponents say the method is simply what farmers have been doing for centuries—breeding for certain traits—only done much faster and more efficiently.

Kimbal Musk wants to do for food what his brother has done for electric cars and space travel. Musk is promoting a philosophy he calls “real food,” which nourishes the body, the farmer, and the planet. Musk wants to create a network of business, educational, and agricultural ventures big enough to swing the nation’s food system back to one based on healthy, local food grown on chemical-free farms.


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.