If you had a magic wand that could make the world less hungry, what would you do? That’s the question David Kramer, professor of Photosynthesis and Bioenergetics at Michigan State University, is trying to answer. Kramer and his team have made a magic wand of sorts, the MultispeQ, a handheld device that measures a plant’s health.
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.
In Uganda, farmers in rain-fed agricultural communities depend on irrigation. Without irrigation, they battle with fluctuating and
unpredictable weather conditions, droughts and flooding. Crops don’t do well and yields are low.
Researcher Abraham Salomon, of the University of California-Davis, is working in eastern Uganda, collaborating with local farmers, social advocates, and engineers on flexible and community-managed irrigation interventions. They’ve been installing and maintaining adaptable irrigation systems that allows tomatoes, cabbage, beans and other vegetables to thrive in the dry seasons and the unpredictable rainy seasons.