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Feed the Future is the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative. For more information, or to subscribe to this publication
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Dibblers (pictured above) are helping Ghanaian farmers operate their farms more efficiently. The owner of Kharma Farms in northern Ghana and his 900 smallholder outgrowers increased their yields 65 percent and their incomes by 77 percent in just one year after adopting the new technology. Credit: Fenton B. Sands/USAID

Innovation is central to feeding a world with a growing population and limited natural resources. In this spirit, Norman Borlaug tirelessly pursued transformative improvements to wheat, which helped spur the Green Revolution that saved many lives from starvation.


Our own efforts through Feed the Future to advance science, technology and innovation are underpinned by a comprehensive research strategy, an approach that prioritizes nutrition and economic growth through agricultural development, and a deep commitment to partnerships to make an impact against hunger.


We support safe, proven and appropriate technologies and use a strategic and focused approach to implement our efforts, which are yielding important results.


And to realize the full potential of innovations developed to improve nutrition and reduce global hunger and poverty, we're intensifying efforts to scale up promising agricultural technologies to millions of farmers and other technology users throughout the value chain in commercially sustainable ways. 


Learn more about Feed the Future's innovative work on global food security or keep reading to find stories on technology and innovation in agriculture from around the world!

Mobile Kitchens Bring Improved Nutrition to Isolated Communities in Cambodia 

A mobile kitchen in Cambodia attracts families in rural villages to attend demonstrations on improved nutrition. Credit: Cambodia HARVEST


Kampong Chheu Teal village in Cambodia is a 30 minute drive from the nearest paved road. To get there, visitors must drive down a rutted dirt path that becomes impassable during heavy rain. Like most remote rural communities in Cambodia, the people of Kampong Chheu Teal struggle with undernutrition and poor dietary habits.


"Many children are undernourished," says Hel Yeu, a volunteer with the local village health support group. Yeu believes teaching people the importance of using the vegetables and fruits in their gardens to prepare balanced meals is one important way to address this problem.


An innovative solution developed by Feed the Future is reaching Kampong Chheu Teal and other isolated communities in Cambodia with much-needed community education on improved nutrition and hygiene practices that can save lives. Earlier this year, Feed the Future began deploying mobile kitchens to some of the farthest reaches of Cambodia, with the goal of training approximately 50,000 people in rural communities on how to combat undernutrition through better feeding practices and hygiene. The mobile kitchens are specially modified, two-wheeled snack carts towed by motorbikes, and they are able to traverse roads that are inaccessible to most other vehicles. Read more.

Solar Drying Technology Provides Solution to Food Waste

The Boukombé Women's Association plans to dry a whole range of fruits and vegetables to sell throughout Benin under their own brand. Credit: Peace Corps


At the beginning of mango season in northern Benin, the plentiful fruit provides food and income for farming families all across the region. Mangoes are so plentiful, in fact, that every year supply outpaces demand and smallholder farmers are left with fruit that rots on the trees or cannot be sold in local markets once harvested.


To enable communities to take full advantage of a profitable orchard crop, Feed the Future Peace Corps Volunteer Steve Smith teamed up with local partners in Boukombé, Benin to support the installment of a solar drying facility that can process and preserve mangoes that would otherwise go to waste. Boukombé is the hottest part of Benin's Atacora region and a major producer of mangoes. Read more.

Reclaiming Refuse to Help Generate Reliable Power 

Feed the Future is expanding access to renewable energy in Liberia through technologies like this generator, which runs on palm oil. Credit: Michael McGovern/LESSP






















Energy and agriculture are closely linked: reliable access to affordable power is a key component to developing a country's agriculture sector and giving agriculture-based businesses a chance to grow. That's why Feed the Future is working in Liberia to reverse decades of devastating civil conflict and rebuild a sustainable energy infrastructure that can support better market opportunities for smallholder farmers and agricultural processors.


After fourteen years of war, all sectors of Liberia's economy were heavily damaged. By the end of the conflict in 2003, Liberia was not producing a single kilowatt of electricity for the entire country, and even today, only about 10 percent of the capital city of Monrovia is on the public electric grid. Outlying rural communities depend on privately owned gasoline or diesel-driven generators for their electricity, which makes Liberia one of the most expensive and environmentally unfriendly electricity generation systems in the world.


To address this serious challenge to development, Feed the Future is working to expand the use of renewable energy to rural areas of Liberia where agriculture is concentrated. Since June 2013, the U.S. Agency for International Development's program to support Liberia's energy sector and its flagship Feed the Future program in the country have been working with the Government of Liberia and local partners to establish a biomass energy center that can turn palm oil, palm nut and coconut shell byproducts, among other types of organic refuse, into an affordable and reliable supply of electricity. Read more.

Improved Crop Varieties Transform Lives for Farmers across Africa


Developing and disseminating improved crop varieties that can withstand threats like heat, drought, or pests and disease is a cornerstone of Feed the Future's innovative approach to advancing global food security. Read on to learn how African farmers are seeing a huge difference in their livelihoods as a result of new technologies made possible with support from Feed the Future.


New Potato Seeds Yield Better Harvests in Mozambique


With the extra income he earned growing a new potato variety, Kaisse Adam was able to purchase a new motorcycle and improve his family's home. Credit: USAID

Kaisse Adam, a smallholder farmer in Mozambique's Niassa province, has been growing potatoes for the last 12 years. He has seen many good and bad harvests, but he had never before seen such high yields as when he started planting a potato variety called Calinga, one of seven new potato varieties released in 2011 through a Mozambican program supported by Feed the Future and implemented by the International Potato Center in partnership with the National Potato Program at the Agricultural Research Institute in Mozambique. Read more.



Coffee and Bananas Get a Boost from Biotechnology in Uganda 

A demonstration garden for bananas enables a Feed the Future-supported lab in Uganda to develop new and improved varieties. Credit: USADF


The battle against food insecurity in rural areas isn't only fought in the fields. In Uganda, scientists are developing groundbreaking tools in the laboratory to boost crop yields and combat hunger. With funding and technical support from the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) under Feed the Future, an agro-biotechnology laboratory in Kampala is successfully introducing improved plant varieties to rural farmers in order to guarantee food security for more Ugandan households. Read more.



Investments in Improved Cowpea Varieties Pay Off in Senegal
Improved varieties of cowpeas are helping Senegalese farmers increase their yields and incomes. Credit: USAID


Through the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes, led by Michigan State University, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is continuing decades of research investments in cowpeas, an important staple food crop in many regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Cowpeas offer essential nutrients and grow well in hot, dry climates, which is why Feed the Future works to improve cowpea production in several West African partner countries.


Newly published data from Senegal shows that these investments are paying off for smallholder farmers who have adopted improved cowpea varieties developed with support from USAID under Feed the Future. An economic impact analysis concluded that cowpea varietal improvement has been profitable in Senegal, estimating the value of net benefits at $78.6 million, with an internal rate of return on investment of 17.9 percent. Read more.

New Initiatives Increase Access to Data to Promote Food Security


Access to open data can be a powerful resource for addressing food security and nutrition. Weather data from NASA satellites are already being used in drought forecasting programs such as the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, a collaborative activity funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development that provides early warning and vulnerability information on food security issues.  


To take advantage of the opportunity that expanding access to data provides, two U.S. Government initiatives, Feed the Future and the Open Data Policy are collaborating to make information generated and stored by the Federal Government more open and accessible to innovators and the public, to fuel entrepreneurship and economic growth while increasing government transparency and efficiency. Building on the Open Data Policy, the U.S. Government has launched a virtual Food, Agriculture, and Rural Community portal to help inform investment and policy strategies related to agricultural production, global food security, poverty, nutrition and human health, rural development, and many other issues. Read more.

Meet the Experts: Fighting Plant Disease with Science and Technology


Jean Ristaino, Jefferson Science Fellow, Feed the Future


Meet Jean Ristaino, a 2012 Jefferson Science Fellow with USAID and William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.


Last year at USAID, Ristaino supported the Feed the Future initiative through her work on plant diseases and human and institutional capacity building. We talked with her to learn more about her passion for food security and how science can help us end poverty and hunger.


Tell us a little about your research and academic interests.


I work on one of the most notorious plant diseases known to mankind: late blight of potato, caused by Phytophthora infestans, which was the culprit for the Irish famine more than 160 years ago. The word Phytophthora literally means "plant destroyer" and it does just that: The disease can kill a potato field in a matter of days if left untreated.


Late blight is still a threat to food security in many areas of the developing world where smallholder farmers have limited incomes and lack access to fungicides to treat plant diseases.

More generally, I study plant disease epidemics, track disease outbreaks using geospatial surveillance systems, and monitor pathogens using genetic tools.

Plants and pathogens are in an "arms race." We often use a concept from the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass to explain this concept: That one has to keep running to stay in the same place. Plants have to constantly evolve resistance to ever-changing plant pathogens if they are to survive.


Keep reading this blog or meet another expert who is scaling innovations in agriculture.

Agriculture Fast Track Issues Call for Proposals

A commitment announced at the U.S.-hosted G-8 Summit in 2012, the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT), officially opens for business on November 1, 2013. The AFT is a multi-donor trust fund supported by USAID, the Swedish Agency for International Development, and the Danish International Development Agency. Its aim is to enhance food security by developing and advancing a pipeline of bankable agriculture infrastructure projects.


Administered by the African Development Bank, the AFT offers grants to agribusinesses and investors to undertake project preparation studies and analysis necessary to inform investment proposals and to attract financing.


Find out if your business qualifies for support! Apply now.

Feed the Future Photo Contest Features Winners from Nigeria, Senegal and More

First place winner in the Feed the Fuiture photo contest. Credit: Adolphus Opara/USAID

Congratulations to photographer Adolphus Opara and the U.S. Agency for International Development's Nigeria Mission for winning first place in the most recent Feed the Future photo contest! Thanks to our partners from all over the world who submitted a wide array of stunning photos showing how Feed the Future is investing in smallholder farmers to advance agriculture and food security.


Check out the other contest winners or visit Feed the Future's Flickr photostream to view all the entries and past photo contests.

The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative Launch
October 31, 2013 (Global Forum on Agricultural Research)
October 30, 2013 (USAID) 


Howard Buffett seeks lasting solutions to the world's food and water crises

October 25, 2013, Mark Guarino (Christian Science Monitor)
October 24, 2013 (Millennium Challenge Corporation) 


World Food Prize takes on biotech, global warming

October 16, 2013, David Pitt (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Opinion & BlogsOpinionsBlogs
October 22, 2013 (Washington Post)

October 21, 2013, Ellen Gustafson (Huffington Post)

October 29, 2013, Marc Steen (CNFA, USAID IMPACT)

October 23, 2013, Catherine Bertini (Global Food for Thought)
Cheaper, Safer Cooking with Biomass Briquettes
October 14, 2013 (Planet Forward) 
This newsletter is intended to enhance collaboration and information-sharing
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information about Feed the Future, please visit our website. 
In This Issue
Mobile Kitchens Bring Improved Nutrition to Isolated Communities in Cambodia
Solar Drying Technology Provides Solution to Food Waste
Reclaiming Refuse to Help Generate Reliable Power
New Potato Seeds Yield Better Harvests in Mozambique

Coffee and Bananas Get a Boost from Biotechnology in Uganda

New Initiatives Increase Access to Data to Promote Food Security
Meet the Experts: Fighting Plant Disease with Science and Technology

Agriculture Fast Track Issues Call for Proposals
Feed the Future Photo Contest Features Winners from Nigeria, Senegal and More

2013 APLU Annual Meeting
Global South Summit
Postharvest Loss Ideation Jam

Opinion & Blogs

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