Category Archives: Climate

Researcher unlocks plant secrets that could better feed the world

Photo: Derrick Turner, MSU Photography Services.
Brad Day in his lab. Photo: Derrick Turner, MSU Photography Services.

The world’s population grows by more than two hundred thousand daily. That’s tens of millions of people annually. To feed them, food production must nearly double by 2050.

That’s a task.

Doing that in the face of climate change and the scarcity of land and water presents one of the world’s greatest challenges. Plants are stressed by drought, disease and non-native competitors. But people need to eat, no matter where they are.

In this episode, Michigan State University researcher Brad Day describes the tools he is creating to unlock the secrets of plants to better feed the world. His research could produce more resilient, stress-tolerant crops that use water and nutrients more efficiently.

Listen to the interview here


Young farmers excited about working with communities

By Karen Hopper Usher

In the past few weeks, 35-year-old John Krohn estimates his urban farm in Lansing has donated 40 pounds of food to people in need.

But don’t call it giving back.

“I don’t feel like I’m giving back because I don’t owe anybody anything,” Krohn said.

Call it community – a community Krohn said he relies on as a market, and the community where he has chosen to live.

Continue reading Young farmers excited about working with communities

Researchers study fair price shops in India



By Ali Hussain

Every month millions of people below the poverty line in India make their way to fair price shops. There they can buy a ration of wheat, rice, sugar or oil at a reduced price.

A network of over 400,000 fair price shops have provided governmentally subsidized food to more than 600 million citizens.

It is the largest distribution network in the world, yet there are concerns about its efficiency.

Prashant Rajan, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, studies the effectiveness of fair price shops in the Chhattisgarh province of India. He is studying how salespeople feel about the use of debit card-like smartcards to keep track of fair price purchases. His research could help fair price shops serve people higher quality food at a lower cost.

Listen to the podcast here.