July 23, 2018

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

 
Large-scale urban migration of youths threatens food production in Africa. Many young Africans see farming as an unattractive option as the industry grapples with climate change, unreliable electricity supplies, poor infrastructure, and barriers to land ownership and finance. There is a need for better infrastructure to connect cities to the countryside and for technology to be made more accessible and affordable.
 
A Dutch company that presented the world's first lab-grown beef burger five years ago said it has received funding to pursue its plans to make and sell artificially grown meat to restaurants in 2021. The aim is to achieve industrial-scale production two to three years later, with a typical hamburger patty costing about one dollar.
 
There is a lot of nervousness about genetic tinkering with food plants. The CRISPR revolution is reinventing, if not reigniting, that debate. Most of the plants that have been gene-edited to date have been created by knocking out genes, not by introducing genes from unrelated species, as first-generation genetic modification generally did.
 
For fast-food restaurants, robotic kitchens with limited repertoires look like a promising innovation. For real foodies, though, a robot that can turn its hand to almost anything culinary would be the acme of automation. A British firm aspires to do just that. Its robot chef is intended to emulate a real one—not only in the quality of the meals, but also by being able to learn to cook almost any recipe.
 
At the Congress of the World Association of Chefs Societies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, food experts launched the Food Waste Challenge, a plan that encourages chefs worldwide to start measuring the amount wasted from their kitchens and make a commitment to cut the mountain of discarded food. Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted before it ends up on the table.
 

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

Interview with Lindiwe Majele Sibanda

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, chief executive officer and head of mission of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), highlights the need to invest in women farmers to boost agricultural production and the intersection between scientific research and agricultural development.
 


Photo of the Week

Anonciata Mbakirirehe of Kayenzi, Rwanda, stands amid her newly germinated maize.


Interview with 2013 Next Generation Student Jose Pablo Soto-Arias

Jose Pablo Soto-Arias, a plant pathology student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, describes his work on food-borne plant pathogens as well as the importance of supporting new agricultural research and young scientists in the field of food security.
 


Interview with Cynthia Rosenzweig

Cynthia E. Rosenzweig, senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, discusses the important role of research and education to help mitigate impacts of climate change.



Photo of the Week

Beatrice Wasike of Victorious, Kenya, shows off the millet she harvested this season. Beatrice harvested 8 bags of millet from a quarter acre of land.




Photo of the Week

Farmers in Kibachenje, Kenya, look through enrollment materials for the 2014 season.




Photo of the Week

Like most women in the Maasai community in Kenya, Elizabeth Talash Naikoni is up at dawn to milk her cows.


Interview with Ren Wang: Empowering Smallholder Farmers

Ren Wang, assistant director general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, explains why we must support smallholder farmers through knowledge, market access, and technology in order to achieve global food security.



Video Notes - Ruth K. Oniang'o on the importance of empowering women farmers

Ruth K. Oniang'o, Founder and Editor-in-chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, as well as the Founder and CEO of Rural Outreach Africa, addresses gender mainstreaming in agriculture and how empowering women farmers can improve nutrition and health.