As part of our series, “10 ideas to make the world less hungry,” Ben Muir talks to Bruno Basso, an ecosystem scientist at Michigan State University, about using legumes as a substitute for fertilizers.
Michigan State gave Basso the ‘innovation of the year award’ in 2016 for his work on crop-plant innovation and crop-plant management. He is now working with the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization on innovative ways to quantify crop production at the end of each growing season.
Basso’s idea to make the world less hungry is rooted in agronomy management.
The Kenyan researchers in this video are investigating the large scale use of insects as a source of protein.
The idea is to turn a food threat into a food source. They hope to feed the insects to chickens that in turn provide eggs and meat to people. But they’re also investigating how to put a protein powder made from the insects directly into human food.
The supplement could help severely malnourished children and nursing women while providing jobs for youth. The insects mature quickly and contain amino acids essential to proper nutrition.
Researcher Ana Herrera explains a mobile technology network that helps farmers warn each other of pest and disease outbreaks and extreme weather. The same system can deliver advice on how to handle such disasters directly to the farmers, and coordinate a response with experts in the field and government officials.
This Grameen Foundation project is supported by Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.
When geographer Joe Messina first analyzed satellite images of Malawi farm fields, he figured he had made a mistake.
Almost everywhere he looked in the East African nation he found maize harvest declines over the previous decade. But this was the site of the Malawi Miracle, a fertilizer subsidy program so successful that it was lauded by researchers in scientific journals and by writers in the New York Times and The Economist.
It became a model program used to justify similar enormous investments by the international community in other African nations.
“I assumed I was wrong,” said Messina, a researcher at Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.