February 17, 2015

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations


Open Data: How Mobile Phones Saved Bananas from Bacterial Wilt in Uganda
Since 2002, banana bacterial wilt has wiped out crops across Uganda. But the Ugandan government drew upon open data to deal with the problem. Ureport mobilizes a network of volunteers who use their mobiles to report on crop failure issues. The results are sent back to community members via SMS along with crop treatment options and advice. Within five days, 190,000 Ugandans had learned about the disease and how to save their bananas.

6 Development Startups You Should Know About
In global development, many startups begin as projects that have won funding and recognition. Hello Tractor, for example, pairs owners of its “smart tractors” — low-cost, two-wheeled tractors that come with attachments like GPS to track data on use, location, uptake and market trends — with small farmers in Africa, who would text to rent out the machines and pay the service via mobile money.

Going Mobile in Sub-Saharan Africa to Save Lives - And Change the Future
Mobile technology is rapidly transforming communications and culture in Africa. More than half the continent’s population has a mobile device, up from just one percent in 15 years. Now, healthcare providers are using technology to improve and save lives.
The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Food
Companies are redefining how and what we eat. For example, 640 Labs is taking the guesswork out of farming. Most farming in the US is done on farms with 1,100 acres of cropland or more. Since its launch in 2013, Chicago-based data analytics company 640 Labs has been helping to reduce farm waste and mistakes, from pinpointing the amount of time farm equipment idles in the field to alerting a farmer that he forgot to plant a plot of land.  


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.


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