July 28, 2014

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

(REUTERS/Antony Njuguna)

How a Kenyan TV Series is Helping Farmers Improve Productivity, Increase Income
Shamba Shape Up is a Kenyan television series helping small-scale farmers give their farms a makeover. It is the first television program of its kind, dedicated to helping small-scale farmers learn about a variety of issues including irrigation, pest control, and financial management. The Shamba team is made up of veterinarians, agronomists, and crop specialists.

Animal Lovers Use Biotech to Develop Milk Made by Man Instead of a Cow
Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi, the co-founders of Muufri, are crafting a plant-based concoction that’s nearly identical in taste and nutritional makeup to cow’s milk. They’ve gone so far as to modify sunflower oil to take on a structural composition similar to milk fats. Muufri is a start-up that hopes to fashion lab-brewed milk as an alternative to milk from animals.

Turning Agricultural Residues and Manure into Bioenergy
Analysis finds that by 2030, US farmers could sustainably produce up to 155 million tons of crop residues, many times the current level of production. The right policies, practices, and investments will help these clean energy sources realize their potential—with huge benefits for farmers, communities, and the environment.

Unearthed: Can This GMO Save Our Oceans?
Scientists at DuPont have genetically modified a yeast to produce omega-3 fatty acid, essential to human health and previously available in meaningful quantity only from marine sources. If we can grow EPA and DHA in the lab without having to catch any fish at all, isn’t that a boon for mankind? The question for any consumer deciding about this is: Do you think it’s safe?


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 Roger Thurow

Our New Gordian Knot

Fifty years ago Dr. Norman Borlaug recieved the Nobel Peace Prize for cutting the "Goridan knot" of population and food production. Now the planet faces another seemingly intractable problem: how to nourish the planet while preserving the planet.