November 3, 2014

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

Food 2.0: The Future of What We Eat
It was perhaps inevitable that food would become the next industry to face the bright heat of Silicon Valley disruption. The innovation driving the latest wave of food start-ups rests less on the discovery of a brand-new magic ingredient and more on a combination of data science, marketing, and sheer ambition.

Biogas, a Low-Tech Fuel with a Big Payoff
Around the world, household-run operations and industrial-scale facilities are using centuries-old technology to extract a fuel known as biogas from crop waste, manure, kitchen scraps, and even sewage. Proponents cite the benefits of harnessing biogas, such as reducing emissions, cutting waste streams, and saving the lungs of those in poor countries who would otherwise burn wood indoors.

Thirty Percent of World's Food Wasted, New Online Platform Seeks Savings
The Global Community of Practice of Food Loss Reduction web portal allows users to get information about ways of reducing waste. In developed countries, food waste usually occurs in homes or restaurants. Most of the developing world's spoilage happens during storage or transport, as infrastructure for refrigeration and preservation is often inadequate.

Nestlé Milk Factory Shake-up Aims to End Drain on Water Resources
Nestlé’s milk plant in central Mexico is the first of its kind in the world not to rely on external water sources, instead, it runs on “cow water”. By recycling the waste fluid extracted from milk when it is powdered, the company has already slashed its global water use by a third since 2005. Nestlé aims to roll out the zero-water technology in other plants worldwide.


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


US Food Aid Reform is Long Overdue

There are rumors that U.S. food aid programs could see major changes in the next budget, including converting some of the Food for Peace program into straight cash grants instead of in-kind food assistance.

Photo of the Week

A One Acre Fund farmer in Nyamasheke District, Rwanda, applies microbuses of fertilizer to her fields as she plants climbing beans.

Agriculture Reflection

When young people are faced with the big question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” agriculture is usually not an expected response.

Photo of the Week

Farmers load up bags of fertilizer on bicycles at input delivery in Matulo village, Kenya.

Roger Thurow - Outrage and Inspire - Forward Ever

The young man from the farm was looking smart in an olive green suit, salmon tie and cufflinks.  His black shoes were a bit scuffed, but his English was polished.  “We are moving forward,” he said.  “Forward ever, backward never.”

Photo of the Week

One Acre Fund farmers in Chwele District, Kenya attend a training on how to plant millet. They are comparing the length of their fingers as they are told to plant their millet seeds as deep as the second knuckle on their index finger.