October 27, 2014

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

How Technology Is Transforming Tasmanian Farms
Dairy cows wearing electronic collars in northern Tasmania are part of a wireless experiment aimed at enhancing milk production and detecting when the animals are on heat to ensure successful artificial insemination. The sensors generate a colossal amount of information, and complex algorithms are used to crunch the numbers to give practical advice to farmers.

Harnessing the Potential of a Nation’s Leftover Food
Instead of throwing leftover food away, we can find creative ways to use leftovers. In recent years, farmers have used anaerobic digesters to convert animal manure into electricity, high quality bedding for animals, and other usable resources.
Index Insurance Takes Root as Climate Change Stings Agriculture
Wagering on the weather might become a global business. Farmers everywhere need help to cope with the effects of climate change. Index-based crop insurance could be a good fit in developing countries; it is easily scalable because its reliance on weather data means that providers don’t have to send claims adjusters into the field.
Humble Spud Poised to Launch a World Food Revolution
Researchers are pioneering the development of crops fed by sea water. The scarcity of fresh water has been labeled as the planet’s most drastic problem; a fifth of the world’s population already lives in areas of drought. Given the high costs and energy demands of desalination, their non-GM, non-laboratory-based experiments offer an exciting alternative.


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.


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Bread Blog, Bread for the World

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WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA