emerging blog

High Level Panel on Water issues Action Plan

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the World Bank Group Dr. Jim Yong Kim have convened a High Level Panel on Water (HLPW), consisting of 11 sitting Heads of State and Government and one Special Adviser, to provide the leadership required to champion a comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative way of developing and managing water resources, and improving water and sanitation related services. 

This powerhouse group issued an Action Plan for a new approach to water management that will help the world to achieve the 2030 agenda, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, the Panel focused on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, as well as contributing to the achievement of the other SDGs that rely on the development and management of water resources. 

These Heads of States committed to taking action on water, and called upon Heads of State and Government, and all people, to do the same. For more information and to read the action plan, please visit the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

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WHO Election

The race for the Secretary General of the UN is still looking complex, and now the new race to be head of the World Health Organisation has opened up.  Please see a blog on the candidates by my friend Felix Dodds, a keen commentator on the UN:




What could be more exciting than recruiting young people to agriculture?  Farming First is launching a great campaign called #IamAg campaign, to encourage more young people to take up agricultural careers.  Between now and 21st October, farmingfirst.org will be sharing the stories of ag professionals from across the globe, across the whole value chain.

Our first blog post is from 29 year old Judy Nyawira, Production Manager at Shamba Shape Up - share the story of how she became involved in the hit TV show!  I am thrilled to be adding my voice in the weeks ahead.  Here’s how you can get involved too…

  1. Sign up to our Thunderclap that will send a timed tweet out, declaring what great opportunities exist in agriculture, especially for youth 
  2. Share or embed our infographic "Working in Agriculture" that showcases the many careers young people can pursue 
  3. Tweet out our individual career illustrations - we may have illustrated your career! (attached)
  4. Add a badge to your Twitter or Facebook profile to declare "I am Ag"
  5. Share blogs, videos, case studies, advice and insights using #IamAg - and you could be turned into an illustration or feature in our wrap up video at the end of the campaign!
  6. Retweet our content - there will be plenty to choose from!


Oat Grower Overcomes Harvest Challenges to Support African Schools

Prairie Oat Growers Association President, and a good friend, Art Enns, sowed a 35-acre crop this spring with the generous intention of donating the revenues of the harvest to the Manyinga Project. With a wet and rainy start to the harvest season, Art was in store for an adventurous day in the field. 


MANITOBA – When Manitoba oat grower and Prairie Oat Growers Association President, Art Enns, sowed a 35-acre crop this spring with the intention of donating the revenues of the harvest to the Manyinga Project, he had no idea what an adventure that harvest would be.

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World Food Day: Building the Zero Hunger Generation

On October 16 the world will celebrate World Food Day, a global movement to end hunger. This year’s theme is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”. The FAO wants to give an opportunity to university students to join global efforts to achieve Zero Hunger.

In September 2015, 193 countries adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and in doing so, committed to end hunger by 2030. The next step is to unite efforts and work together towards this goal - governments, international organizations, the private sector, academia, farmers, and also the general public all have a role to play.

Without addressing climate change, this important goal cannot be reached. Climate change is affecting the health of our planet and changing our world. It is causing more natural disasters and environmental problems, which make it harder for us to grow food.  In order to feed a growing population set to reach 9.6 billion by the year 2050, we will have to learn to grow what we need in a sustainable way.

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Tackling Malaria Through Innovation

The ability to create innovative products is essential for improved living. One of the most compelling challenges we face is malaria. About 3.4 billion people - half the world’s population - are at risk of malaria. In Africa, a child dies every 2 MINUTES from malaria. In addition to deaths, the social and economic costs from the illness are huge, estimated at $12 billion a year in Africa alone.

It is my pleasure to note that Target Malaria is nominated for the “Moonshot” award by Wired. Target Malaria is a not-for-profit consortium aiming to reduce the population of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa. By reducing the population of malaria mosquitoes, they can reduce the transmission of the disease. You can vote here to support them and other innovators in this category (second award grouping).

Innovation is something that should be encouraged and celebrated in every sector. The Wired Audi Innovation Awards promote teams and individuals striving to break down barriers in whatever sector they’re working in.

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Sustainable Livestock, Sustainable Lives

On July 20th, I had the opportunity to attend the International Livestock Research Institutes side event and the UN’s High Level Political Forum in New York. The side event was titled Sustainable Livestock, Sustainable Lives and it explored how to give livestock its rightful place in the SDG agenda. It highlighted how collaborations between researchers, government, farmers, civil society and the private sector contributes to support the livestock sector by creating sustainable, diverse and nutrition-enhancing food systems to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition, as well as supporting and promoting sustainable livestock and healthy diets.

Livestock is frequently a portal of entry for the landless and poor to economic production and household security. Domestic animals perform critical development functions through their contribution to nutritious diets, economic growth, poverty alleviation, and improved rural livelihoods. More than 1 billion people’s livelihoods depend on the livestock sector. Demand for animal-source products is expected to grow approximately twofold globally, and even more in low-income and emerging economies. Animal-source products - such as meat, dairy, and eggs – provide vital nutrition, particularly in the context of child and maternal health.

In order to be sustainable in its growth, the livestock sector needs to support livelihoods, contribute to enhancing economic and social well-being, protect public and animal health through the reduction of health threats to and from livestock, sustain natural resources and contribute to climate change mitigation. Livestock relates directly or indirectly to all SDGs. It most specifically helps deliver every target in Goal 2 of Food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, as well as furthering Goal 1 in the fight against poverty, and Goal 3 on health. The Sustainable Development Goals are only achievable with the inclusion of livestock. To make the most of such opportunities, there is an urgent need to consult the livestock sector, increase awareness of policy-relevant investment needs and opportunities relating to the sector, and orienting policies, partnerships and investment in appropriate ways.

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Request for Proposal For a Consultant to Co-ordinate Development of a 10-Year Research Strategy for Pulse Crops

Emerging ag inc is soliciting proposals from qualified suppliers to assist in coordinating the development of a 10-Year Research Strategy for in the context of the 2016 International Year of Pulses.

The supplier will work closely with Emerging ag inc in development of the strategy.  In the context of the International Year of Pulses, Emerging ag inc acts as Secretariat to the Global Pulse Confederation which has convened a Productivity and Sustainability Committee comprised of experts from many pulse institutions.  The group has helped to frame the scope of the report and assisted in the development of a list of experts.  It will be available as advisors through the process of developing the project.

Emerging ag inc will co-ordinate communications and activities for the champions programme related to this project.

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First-Ever National Academy of Sciences Prize Dedicated to Food and Agriculture Sciences Established by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research with Support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Beginning in 2017, the National Academy of Sciences will recognize one annual recipient for an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. This fantastic award is jointly supported by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Establishing the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences is part of FFAR’s efforts to elevate food and agriculture research in the scientific arena and highlight the critical need for scientists working toward more productive, sustainable agriculture and better health through nutritious food. 

Nominations for 2017 are now open, with a deadline of October 3rd, 2016. Mid-career researchers at U.S. institutions may be nominated online. “Mid-career” is defined as up to 20 years since Ph.D. completion. The Prize may also be shared by one or more individuals for a collaborative accomplishment. For the purpose of the prize, areas of science with applications to agriculture include the following:

  • Plant and animal sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition and food science
  • Soil science
  • Entomology
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Agricultural economics


Election of the UN Secretary General

With Ban Ki-Moon’s term as Secretary General wrapping up, the selection process has been in full swing. The leadership shown by Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly, to increase transparency in the process is laudable. The webcast sessions to introduce candidates to member states and the world is a leap forward from the process being confined to the Security Council members.

Another innovation has been to allow civil society to contribute questions to the candidates via a process facilitated by UN-NGLS.  Details from UN-NGLS are below:

More than 1500 questions from nearly 100 countries have been submitted since the process began at the end of February. From among these, each candidate has been asked 2-3 unique questions during their UN General Assembly dialogue. In addition, two were used during the 12 July debate with 10 candidates in UN General Assembly Hall, and the President of the General Assembly posted 10 of the questions on his web site, requesting all candidates to respond to them.

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