June 25, 2018

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

A worker sorts avocados at a farm factory in Nelspruit in Mpumalanga province.


Edible Coating Allows Avocados to Stay Ripe for Twice as Long
A tasteless coating developed by Santa Barbara company Apeel Sciences controls the two main factors that cause fresh produce to go bad: the rate at which water escapes the surface of fruit and vegetables, and the rate at which oxygen enters. Apeel hopes its technology can also reduce the amount of fruit and vegetables that are thrown out by retailers and consumers because of spoilage.
 
Using food waste to enrich your soil benefits the earth in a number of ways, including reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and decreasing methane emissions in landfills. Launched in 2016, the ShareWaste app uses a digital map to connect individuals with food scraps to nearby neighbors who have a compost system like a heap or a bin. Users accepting compost scraps can mark their compost site on the map for other users to find.
 
ChemChina is substantially raising spending on research and development, with the biggest increases going to groundbreaking digital technology. FarmShots is a software that they developed that uses satellites and drones to pinpoint sick crops in the field. The advantage of satellite images is that they spotlight problem areas that could take a farmer a week or more to pinpoint scouting the spread.
 
Algae grows 10 times more rapidly than terrestrial plants and needs less than a tenth of the land for production. It grows on non-productive and non-arable land, doesn't compete with other crops for land, can use a variety of water sources, and produces no fertilizer runoff or downstream eutrophication. Some experts believe that algae could soon be used as biomass for carbon-neutral fuels, animal and marine feed, and high-quality protein supplements for humans.
 
Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (a UK based non-profit) supports the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible, and usable to deal with the challenge of ensuring world food security. The organization argues that open access and open data increase transparency, as well as citations and recognition, which are essential for reaching lofty goals like beating world hunger.
 

About

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.

Blogroll

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

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