November 23, 2015

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations

REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Manure from Millions of Hogs Fuels Natural Gas Project
One recipe for renewable natural gas goes: Place manure from about 2 million hogs in lagoons, cover them with an impermeable material and let it bake until gas from the manure rises. Then, use special equipment to clean the gas of its impurities and ship the finished product out. That’s the vision of one of the largest biogas projects in the US, part of a long-term effort to turn underused agriculture resources into an engine for environmentally friendly farming practices.
 
Improved Web Tool for Better Estimates of Forest Biomass and Carbon Stocks
An updated version of the online tree assessment tool known as GlobAllomeTree will now allow countries to get a clearer picture of the biomass, carbon content, and ecosystem services of trees and forests than previously possible. GlobAllomeTree helps scientists, foresters, private companies and policymakers improve the assessment of forest carbon stocks and prepare greenhouse gas inventories, necessary for mitigation of climate change.
 
New Sense of Community in UN 'Freedom Camp' for African Asylum Seekers
The EU should seriously consider creating a UN-supervised “freedom camp” in Africa. Sending failed asylum seekers to their countries of origin is fraught with insurmountable problems.  If they are given protection and basic services—housing, education, health, water, sanitation, and tools—asylum seekers could use the security and facilities in their “freedom camp” to grow enough food to feed themselves, with surplus sold to other famine-stricken regions of Africa.
 
The Missing LINC in the Newborn Survival Agenda: Prevention
The Public Private Partnership to Prevent Preterm Birth is charged with forging a prevention path in newborn survival to complement the current efforts to treat sick newborns. The partnership aims to demonstrate that preterm birth rates can be significantly reduced by addressing lifestyle, infection, nutrition, and contraception among populations of women where preterm birth rates and deaths are extremely high.
 
Saving the World, Startup-Style
During the past decade, there has been a quiet revolution in the way many scholars think about aid. Rich countries should allow poor ones to determine what needs to happen and then pay money to whoever comes up with an actual solution. Whatever you think of Silicon Valley, the venture-capital philosophy of investing can be an extremely useful model for philanthropy.

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

Photo of the Week

Like most women in the Maasai community in Kenya, Elizabeth Talash Naikoni is up at dawn to milk her cows.


Interview with Ren Wang: Empowering Smallholder Farmers

Ren Wang, assistant director general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, explains why we must support smallholder farmers through knowledge, market access, and technology in order to achieve global food security.



Video Notes - Ruth K. Oniang'o on the importance of empowering women farmers

Ruth K. Oniang'o, Founder and Editor-in-chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, as well as the Founder and CEO of Rural Outreach Africa, addresses gender mainstreaming in agriculture and how empowering women farmers can improve nutrition and health.


Photo of the Week

A farmer in Rwanda shells her maize after harvesting.




Interview with Barbara Schaal

Professor Barbara Schaal discusses the importance of investing in agriculture research to meet the demands of the future.




Commentary - Putting Food and Farming on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

While the climate talks in Warsaw continue to sideline the world’s one billion farmers from the policy discussions, another UN process – the post-2015 development agenda – offers another opportunity for the agricultural sector to contribute to the future sustainable development challenges ahead of us.


Photo of the Week

A farmer in Gitwa, Rwanda, reads a training at one of the input delivery sites.




Video Interview with Secretary Dan Glickman

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Chicago Council on Global Affairs Global Agricultural Development Initiative Co-Chair Dan Glickman addresses the importance of agricultural education, the effects of climate change on agriculture, and the need to fund agricultural research.