Originally published August 2018.
Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, FAND
Former President, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
Senior Associate, The Context Network
Program Analyst, Context Global Development
The next 30 years will be a time of incredible importance and change in the world’s history. Recent estimates project that the world’s population will rise to 9.8 billion by 2050 with almost 80% of that population coming from Asia (5.2 billion) and Africa (2.5 billion). With the increased population comes the continued need to increase food production and availability that will not only feed but nourish the world’s population.
Originally published July 2018.
Climate change, poverty, and hunger, habitat preservation — these are just some of the challenges facing the world today, and agriculture holds the key to unlocking their solutions. A creative, collaborative, and business-driven approach is necessary to tackle these challenges. Context Global Development is uniquely positioned to build critical partnerships and bring innovations to market.
Each year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds grants and projects to give low-income people tools to lead healthy, productive lives and thus be helped to lift themselves out of poverty.
In 2017, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)…
Yam yields in Nigeria and Ghana are low, largely because the quality of seed yams sourced from the informal seed system is poor and disease pressure is high. A project funded by a multi-year grant to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to strengthen the entire yam value chain, from smallholder farmers to yam processors and international exporters. (Photo: Yams produced in Nigeria)
Yams present a conundrum in West Africa. While consumer demand is high, yam yields are chronically low, stymied by poor seed quality, intensive labor requirements, disease…
Getting his shoes dusty helped open Joe Funk’s eyes to the realities of Africa’s Sahel region. As a writer documenting Context Global Development®’s (CGD) work in evaluating agricultural development programs, it was Funk’s first time on the ground in the region. “I had read and written about Africa’s low-income, small-scale farmers,” he said, “but it was not until I walked through their fields, visited their communities, and got their dust on my shoes that I began to understand and appreciate their lives and challenges.”
Funk accompanied a CGD team in 2017 throughout Burkina Faso, Mali, and…
Press Release. Originally published November 2017.
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — (April 12, 2016) Context Global Development® (CGD) has received a $4 million USD grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a new program entitled, “Realizing Sorghum and Millet Agricultural Productivity Gains in the Sahel.” The two-year program aims to realize agricultural productivity gains for smallholder farmers (SHF) growing sorghum and pearl millet in the Sahelian zones of Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria. The initiative will examine the extent and role these crops play in farmers’ livelihoods, identifying key factors in farmers’ crop investment decisions. …
Originally published July 2017.
In the clay soil of a creek bed in the arid foothills of Morocco’s Atlas Mountain range, a little-known wild species of oats is thriving, as it has for centuries. While some of the region’s native mammalian species have long since gone extinct, Avena magna, a native, protein-rich ancestor of oats has survived. And now, with the help of a partnership between Context Global Development® (CGD) and General Mills, this and other nutritious plants will soon find their way into the fields and onto the plates of people in the world’s poorest and hungriest countries.
Press release. Originally published February 2017.
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — (February 6, 2017) Context Global Development® (CGD) and partners have launched a new program aimed at transforming the formal yam seed system in Nigeria and Ghana to enable smallholder farmers access to affordable, high quality seed yam tubers.
The program, second phase of Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA-II), is a five-year, $12 million program. It is intended to boost certified seed yam production by optimizing and commercializing breakthroughs realized in the first program phase. YIIFSWA-II is expected to improve the livelihoods of at…
Originally published August 2016.
Context Global Development® partners with Nigeria’s largest HQCF processor to establish an on-farm, commercial cassava seed multiplication system
Context Global Development® (CGD) formed a partnership with Nigeria’s largest High-Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) processor, Flour Mills of Nigeria, to establish an innovative and commercially viable cassava stem business model that will serve high quality cassava value chains, including small-holder farmers (SHF).
Cassava is the most important food crop for Nigeria, where it has high poverty-reduction potential because of its low production cost, widespread cultivation, and job creation capacity — especially for women and rural youth. …
Originally published April 2016.
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — (April 30, 2016) Context Global Development® (CGD) has begun work on a new initiative that aims to sustainably improve Nigerian farmers’ access to high quality and affordable cassava planting materials. The four-year project, entitled “Building and Economically Sustainable, Integrated Seed System for Cassava in Nigeria”, is funded with $11.6 million (USD) in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The project will work to advance access and affordability of seed through the development and promotion of commercial models for seed provision.
CGD Managing Director, Mark Nelson said, “Underpinning this primary…
Press Release. Originally published April 2016.
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — (April 12, 2016) Context Global Development® (CGD) has received a $4 million USD grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a new program entitled, “Realizing Sorghum and Millet Agricultural Productivity Gains in the Sahel.” The two-year program aims to realize agricultural productivity gains for smallholder farmers (SHF) growing sorghum and pearl millet in the Sahelian zones of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria. The initiative will examine the extent and role these crops play in farmers’ livelihoods, identifying key factors in farmers’ crop investment decisions. …