March 2, 2015

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

Reuters

Ag Secretary: Smartphones Could Tell Buyers What's in Food
In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of GM foods, Secretary Vilsack says he has an idea: use your smartphone. Vilsack told members of Congress that consumers could just use their phones to scan special bar codes or other symbols on food packages in the grocery store. All sorts of information could pop up, such as whether the food's ingredients include GMOs.
 
A Modest Proposal for Feeding Africa
The ingredients that will achieve food security in Africa are already known to us, and we already have parts of them working. Currently, average cereal yields in Africa are a little over one ton per hectare. In the UK it can be up to eight tons. Africa has places where European-level yields could be achieved. That is not the issue. It can be done, the question is how.
 
Freight Farms: How Boston Gets Local Greens, Even When Buried In Snow
Entrepreneurs are using those shipping containers to grow local produce. "Freight Farms" are shipping containers modified to grow stacks of hydroponic plants and vegetables. It's a new way for small-scale farmers to grow crops year-round in a computer-controlled environment, even in the middle of the city.
 
Farming: There's an App for That
The growing field of agricultural technology allows farmers to track herd performance, calculate fertilizer ratios and ID crop pests, all with the flick of a finger on a touch screen. These eight apps are the latest ag tech tools to help farmers improve production and increase revenue.

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





| By Margaret Cornelius, Nicolas Gatti, Peter Goldsmith, Edward Martey

Guest Commentary - Addressing the barriers to soybean production in Africa

High input costs and lack of access to credit prevent smallholder farmers from investing in their soybean crops. Barriers such as these have kept soybean yields low in Africa. The Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab is working to address them through incremental input bundles. 










| By Brian Diers, Rita Mumm, Michelle da Fonseca Santos

Guest Commentary - USAID’s Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab is Working Across the Value Chain to Enable the Advancement of Soybean Development in Africa

Soybean has been the fastest growing crop for the last 20 years. Despite soybeans having a long history in Africa, soybean yields have increased very little over the last half century, especially when compared to the U.S. and Brazil. Through a number of targeted interventions, the Soybean Innovation Lab at the University of Illinois has been working to change that.