A two-year project, Nourishing the Planet, designed to highlight innovations in agriculture that can nourish people as well as the planet, has recently been launched by the Worldwatch Institute. From cropping methods to irrigation technology to agricultural policy, the project aims to assess agricultural innovations in order to inform global efforts to eradicate hunger and raise the profile of these efforts. "With soaring petroleum and food prices, climate change and persistent unfair trade agreements, agricultural development is at a crossroads," says Christopher Flavin, Worldwatch president. "The current crisis offers a window of opportunity for refocusing the world's attention on food, agriculture, and rural areas, and for re-establishing food security as a global priority."
In addition to launching a blog dedicated to the project, Worldwatch is also inviting farmers, agricultural scientists, extension agents, development workers, government officials, urban gardeners, livestock keepers and others to contribute to this project by completing a survey. "We are most interested in the innovations that take environmental sustainability into consideration, while also raising farmer income and increasing food security," explains Danielle Nierenberg, Nourishing the Planet project coordinator. The project, which is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will culminate in the publication of the State of the World 2011: Nourishing the Planet,enabling farmers, scientists and government officials to share their perspectives regarding agricultural solutions for alleviating hunger.