August 31, 2015

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

How to Feed the World, with a Little Kelp from Our Friends (the Oceans)
There is a farm that needs no inputs — no fertilizer, no pesticides, no water. Oh, and it doesn’t use any land either. This farm increases wildlife habitat simply by existing. It causes no erosion, cleans up pollution, and it captures more carbon than it releases. That may sound more sci-fi than vertical-farm skyscrapers, or vat-grown meat, but it’s not. Farms like this are operating profitably around the world, producing tons of highly nutritious food. There’s just one catch: That food is kelp.
 
How Will We Fill 9 Billion Bowls by 2050?
On paper, we produce enough food to feed our current population of 7 billion. Yet an estimated 805 million people go to bed hungry each night, and hidden hunger – or micronutrient deficiency – affects an additional 2 billion. Poverty, political instability, income inequity and overconsumption in some regions of the world all play pivotal roles. But a specific link in the global chain – the production and delivery of food – is where the greatest challenges and brightest opportunities for feeding our planet lie.
 
There's a New Sustainable Ag Technique in Town, and It's Cleaning Up
The farming technique known as push-pull — which involves planting grasses with special properties to protect crops — started out as a rudimentary defense against stem borer insects. But it just keeps getting more sophisticated. It has evolved to fight off parasitic weeds, while also providing animal fodder and fertilizing the soil. Now, in a new paper, scientists have described ways to use it in areas without regular rainfall or irrigation.
 
General Mills Sets Ambitious Goal for Greenhouse Gas Cuts from Farm to Fork to Landfill
General Mills has set an ambitious goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2025 — not just within its own operations but from farm to fork to landfill. General Mills will invest more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy within its own facilities worldwide, and partner with suppliers to foster more sustainable agricultural practices, including sourcing products from an additional 250,000 acres of organic production globally by 2020.

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