November 13, 2017

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

Honey bees are seen at a farm in Moc Chau district, northwest of Hanoi, Vietnam October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Kham

Join the Council’s newest Distinguished Fellow, Ertharin Cousin, former Director of the World Food Prize, on Monday, November 20 for a conversation and Q&A on food waste and the triple burden of malnutrition: undernutrition, micronutrient deviancies, and obesity. Tune in to the Global Food and Agriculture Program’s Facebook page for the event, bring your questions, and follow the Council on Twitter for event updates - @GlobalAgDev
Insects are absolutely critical to the health of the natural world. Without a healthy pollinator population, we put the whole ecological balance of our world in danger. Among the potential threats to pollinators are neonicotinoids, a type of pesticide. The most recent studies point to a discernible effect on food sources and the productivity of bee colonies, which could have a worrying long-term impact on their populations.
Several ancient foods are making their way to the dinner table in an effort to diversify the diet of a growing global population. As rising temperatures wreak havoc on farmers worldwide, scientists are seeking new ways to feed 9.8 billion people by 2050. Ancient foods like Aztec pig weed, which can be eaten raw or ground into flour, and dragon beans could add valuable nutrients to a limited modern diet.
The tracking technology used to halt the deadly Ebola and Zika viruses could now be turned against wheat rust as scientists try new ways to stop the fungus devastating world grain crops. Wheat rusts are nothing new, but they are adapting to outwit man and pose an ever-growing global risk. Now technology is stepping in with the hope that early detection can limit the damage of any outbreak.
Kamine Development Corporation’s agriculture division (KDC Ag) has developed a technology with California Safe Soil that converts more than 30 tons of fresh food waste into fertilizer and animal feed in just three hours. The technology is designed to mimic the human digestive system and can process all types of fresh food waste, including meat, fruits, and vegetables.
The future of global food systems hinges on how we respond to the challenges of today and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. The Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) and The Rockefeller Foundation have endeavored to identify the top immediately investible and emerging innovations that will be catalytic in reducing post-harvest food loss and transforming food systems in emerging markets within the next 20 years.


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.