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A team in Uganda works to level the field in preparation for an irrigation system. Photo courtesy of Abraham Salomon.

Published: Friday, 03 Mar 2017
Author: Lizzy LaFave
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

Irrigation is a high-priority issue in the largely rain-fed agricultural communities of Uganda. Without it, farmers struggle to adapt to tough growing conditions, from severe drought to disastrous flooding. However necessary, upfront system costs and top-down approaches have left many valuable crop plots at the whim of the weather.


Locusts, in captivity, feeding on grass in Kenya. Photo courtesy of John Nduko.

Published: Tuesday, 28 Feb 2017
Author: Katie Deska
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

Proteins are known as the body's building blocks, but for many people in Kenya, protein sources are too expensive, leading to nutrient-poor diets linked to diseases and cognitive development problems. To improve availability of protein-rich food, researchers John Nduko and Anthony King'ori, of Egerton University, turned to wild-caught protein, namely grasshoppers and locusts.


FarmerLink field agent shows coconut farmer in the Philippines how to receive valuable text warnings in advance of extreme weather, pest outbreaks, etc.

Published: Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017
Author: Ali Hussain
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

Contrary to its name, the coconut is not a nut – it's the largest stone fruit in the world. Sold in the food and beverage industry, harvested for construction purposes, used in cosmetics, and transformed into decorative objects, the coconut has many applications. While a quarter of the world's coconut production stems from the Philippines, the country's coconut farmers are the poorest around the globe.


Cassava, a highly perishable tuber grown in all regions of Tanzania.

Published: Thursday, 16 Feb 2017
Author: Lizzy LaFave
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

An important subsistence crop in Tanzania, cassava is grown in all regions of the country, yet processing constraints make it difficult for small and medium scale farmers to compete with large scale operations. To level the playing field, two researchers developed a low-cost processing system that produces high-value cassava flour with virtually no waste. Currently in the pilot stage, the new system has the capacity to mill 500 kg of cassava flour per day.


Innovator investigates new structure that uses evaporative cooling technology to help preserve food in India.

Published: Thursday, 09 Feb 2017
Author: Ali Hussain
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

While hunger plagues a quarter of India's 1.3 billion people, food losses continue to stack up, rotting and wilting during post-harvest and processing. To improve on-farm food storage and divert food waste, a team of researchers funded the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation are implementing two types of evaporative cooling (EC) technology.


A screen shot of Mahindi Master, played by Kenyan farmers on cell phones during pilot testing.

Published: Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017
Author: Ali Hussain
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

FarmVille, a farming simulation game, is among the most popular social networking games ever launched. Since its 2009 debut on Facebook, the virtual game has been played by over 400 million users in 215 counties. Ever wondered how a game like FarmVille could actually be used to improve agriculture? That was the challenge accepted by two researchers, Emilia Tjernstrom, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Travis Lybbert, of the University of California-Davis.


Msury's fourth prototype of the Ripper and Seed Planter on a field test in Tanzania. Photo courtesy Msury.

Published: Thursday, 02 Feb 2017
Author: Katie Deska
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

Of the 52 million people who call Tanzania home, 70 percent are farmers by trade, relying on tractors or hand tools to plant seeds year after year. While the efficiency of hand tools pales in comparison to the use of a tractor, the tractor is too expensive for many households. Salim Msury, an engineering student at the country's Arusha Technical College, is developing the Ripper and Seed Planter, a low-cost alternative that he has been actively testing in nearby villages.


Innovation Scholars at LUANAR

Published: Thursday, 26 Jan 2017
Author: Katherine Laurel Deska
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

As Malawi's premier agricultural college, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) has the opportunity to heavily impact the region's progress toward food security. To that end, Michigan State University's Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI) partnered with LUANAR to host the inaugural Innovation Scholars Program, a 12-month professional development program designed for faculty and administrators in Lilongwe.



Published: Wednesday, 24 Aug 2016
Author: Syed Ali Hussain
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

Frugal Innovation Practicum Presentations on August 25th from 2-4 p.m. in Room 338, Natural Sciences Building.



Published: Monday, 27 Jun 2016
Author: Syed Ali Hussain
Department: Global Center for Food Systems Innovation

Ssemwanga Mohammed—a recipient of a Student Innovation Grant from GCFSI and a graduate of the Department of Climate and Society at Mekelle University in Ethiopia—is working on the development and testing of Rapid Agricultural Produce Indirect Solar Dryer (RAPID), a technology designed to dry produce quickly and safely in low-resource settings using renewable and abundant solar energy.