December 29, 2016

Innovation of the Week: Tobacco as an Organic Pesticide

Health concerns over tobacco use have hurt tobacco farmers—the number of farms growing tobacco in the United States dropped from 512,000 in 1954 to 56,977 in 2002. But the poisonous quality of tobacco could help farmers enter the pesticide market.

Innovation of the Week: Greening the Desert

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are 1 billion hungry people in the world, most of who live in poor rural areas. As the world’s population is set to hit 7 billion, policy-makers are struggling to find ways to nourish our planet’s growing population. 

Targeting Gaps in the Food Supply Chain: Going Beyond Agricultural Production to Achieve Food Security

Agricultural production is only the first step in moving the world’s food from farm to fork, according to Nourishing the Planet, a project of the Worldwatch Institute. The other links in the food chain—harvesting, packaging, storing, transporting, marketing, and selling—ensure that food actually reaches consumers. Inefficiencies in these activities, rather than just low yields or […]

Innovation of the Week: Community Seed Banks to Empower Women and Protect Biodiversity

For fifteen years, Muniyamma, a farmer in Karnataka, India, practiced agriculture with the help of agro-chemicals, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides, but in recent years she noticed a drastic decrease in yield.

Innovation of the Week: Enabling the Community to Help Itself

In Nangabo, a small county in south central Uganda, many families are struggling to put food on the table. But families with children with physical or developmental disabilities have an additional financial burden.

Innovation of the Week: Making a Week’s Worth of Rain Last the Whole Year

We think of deserts as dry wastelands incapable of food production.  Surprisingly, there is often enough rainfall to support vegetation.  The problem is that most of this water falls only over the course of one week and pools in aquifers a meter below the surface.  

Innovation of the Week: Putting Classroom Theory into Practice

“The idea was to bring a lot of expertise from the corporate world to help young social start ups,” says Fred Rose when asked about his motivation for founding the Acara Institute two years ago. 

Innovation of the Week: Turning an Invasive Species into a Livelihood

In Kenya, for the over 5,000 people living in rural communities on or near its shore, Lake Victoria—the largest body of freshwater in Africa—is a life line.