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

Archive

Commentary - Is Feed the Future delivering results? Yes – with some limitations.

Robai Nyongesa, a smallholder farmer in western Kenya, used to struggle to grow enough maize to feed her family. Last year, she was able to harvest 20 bags of maize from 1 acre of land, a fivefold increase over her previous poor harvests. Her large harvest enabled her to feed her three children, and to hire a tutor to give her children private lessons at home.



Photo of the Week

Farmers of the Faulu group in Bungoma South, Kenya, stand proudly in front of Beatrice Masila’s sorghum that has now grown taller than they are!


Call for Innovators: Bridging Dairy Data Gaps

Dairy, especially milk, can play an important role in providing essential nutrients to a woman of child-bearing age, a gestating or lactating mother, and children.




Commentary - Building a More Nutritious Future for All

A silent crisis is happening right now. It affects 165 million children globally, robbing them of the future they deserve and leading to more child deaths every year than any other disease. In a world of plentiful, nutritious foods and advanced science, this is unacceptable.


Commentary - Nourishing a Stronger Future

With less than two years until the end of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the health and development communities are looking back at what has been accomplished, and looking ahead to where we have opportunities to do more.


Commentary - Solvable problem

Whenever I have the privilege of spending time among the people that the World Food Programme (WFP) serves, I come away enriched with precious extra knowledge and inspired by the new ways in which governments are tackling the world’s greatest solvable problem – hunger.



The Chicago Council’s #GlobalAg summit in one word? Innovation.

With an introductory message from USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and keynote remarks from Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE; Lauren Bush Lauren, founder of FEED; and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, this year’s event was global agriculture’s version of the Oscars.



Commentary - Food Aid Reform: Making Every Dollar Count

Today, almost 1 billion people are hungry. By 2050, world population will top 9 billion, only increasing the demand for food, fuel, and natural resources and straining our ability – and the planet’s ability – to feed and nourish all.   


How the U.S. Can Lead on Food Security

Our national discourse is driven by a few topical issues with the occasional political scandal sprinkled in. With the economic recovery, immigration reform and the IRS controversy dominating today’s conversation, it’s no surprise that a monumental issue like food security gets lost in the shuffle.