August 24, 2015

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

New Leaf on Life? Lettuce Focus of Drought Tolerance Study
Creation of a drought-tolerant lettuce is the goal of a research project under way in Salinas, California. Renee Eriksen, PhD, received a three-year grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to pursue the research. A drought-tolerant lettuce would reduce grower costs and ultimately lead to cheaper prices for consumers.
If You Spill Water On This Book, That's a Good Thing
This is definitely not your typical book. There are messages on each page about water safety, printed in nontoxic ink, but it doesn't matter whether you read them or not. Each page is divided in half and perforated, designed to be ripped out. In every half page there's a thick filter infused with silver and copper nanoparticles. They give the paper its orange color and, more important, filter out the disease-causing bacteria ubiquitous in the waters of developing nations.
Recipes for Change: Chefs Feature Ingredients from Small Farmers Adapting to Climate Change
Everyone must play a role in helping small farmers adapt to climate change, and chefs are uniquely positioned to partner with the farmers who grow the ingredients for their meals. Recipes for Change, a campaign of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, features ingredients that are under threat from climatic changes. The campaign focuses on traditional crops and dishes that are under threat from global climate change. Regional celebrity chefs travel to rural areas to work with small farmers and to cook traditional meals with local farmers


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


| By Janet Fierro

Guest Commentary - Rural Niger Women find Opportunity and Hope through Innovative Business Model

When researchers set out to find natural ways to manage a crop-destroying pest in sub-Saharan Africa cowpea fields they knew the results could have significant positive impact on smallholder farmers. What they may not have expected was the significance of the cottage industry it inspired and the entrepreneurial spirit of the rural women of Niger who led it.