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 Barbara Schaal

Professor Barbara Schaal discusses the importance of investing in agriculture research to meet the demands of the future.




Commentary - Putting Food and Farming on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

While the climate talks in Warsaw continue to sideline the world’s one billion farmers from the policy discussions, another UN process – the post-2015 development agenda – offers another opportunity for the agricultural sector to contribute to the future sustainable development challenges ahead of us.


Photo of the Week

A farmer in Gitwa, Rwanda, reads a training at one of the input delivery sites.




Video Interview with Secretary Dan Glickman

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Chicago Council on Global Affairs Global Agricultural Development Initiative Co-Chair Dan Glickman addresses the importance of agricultural education, the effects of climate change on agriculture, and the need to fund agricultural research.





Roger Thurow - Outrage and Inspire - Africa's Good News

“We are controlling the diseases of malnutrition, like kwashiorkor, marasmus,” she says on her small farm in the western Kenyan village of Kabuchai.  “In this community of ours, we don’t have these diseases any more.  People are working harder to improve their farms.”