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 Doug Bereuter on Global Food Security

In this video interview, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Agricultural Development Initiative Co-Chair Doug Bereuter discusses the importance of investing in women farmers and sustaining the US leadership in global agriculture and food security programs.





Commentary - Africa: A Continent of Opportunity

I recently returned from a conference hosted by the Aspen Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with a number of scholars and members of Congress. Over a period of several days we did an in-depth exploration of the myriad issues encompassing U.S. relations with the 54 nations of Africa.


Photo of the Week

Annette Kwamboka peels the husk off a cob of her mother's maize in Bugita, Kenya.







Commentary - Sharing Agricultural Success with President Obama

When I first got the idea back in 2008 that the women farmers like myself in central Senegal should join together to help one another succeed, I never would have guessed that five years later I would be sharing that story of success with the president of the United States. 


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.