Technical Innovation

Example Projects

Grow Further catalyzes social and technical innovation for a food-secure world.

Testing Quinoa
in Africa

Global food production is heavily dependent on just four crops: maize, wheat, rice, and soybean. This creates a risk of plant disease epidemics, as well as problems with nutrition and food allergies. Yet these four species continue to capture the vast majority of research funding for grain crops.

Quinoa is one of the most promising alternative grain crops. Quinoa is native to and still mainly grown in the Andes, but has a much larger potential as its cultivation is similar to wheat. Quinoa is more nutritious and more tolerant of adverse conditions than conventional grain crops, and has a growing global market, but little is known about how to achieve high yields in Africa. We are considering supporting a scientist working on adapting it to African conditions by testing different cultural practices.

Creating a Bottom-Up Video Network in India

Video and digital technology have begun to revolutionize agricultural extension, both through top-down (scientist to farmer) and peer-to-peer (farmer to farmer) platforms. Organizations like Digital Green and Access Agriculture have created such platforms and successfully provided quality-moderated information at scale. But the process of scientists receiving feedback from farmers remains inefficient. We might support the development of a bottom-up video platform where farmers communicate the problems they’re facing and offer feedback to scientists to help them set priorities and design solutions.

Controlling a Kiwi Disease in China

A new kiwi disease has emerged in China’s Sichuan Province. Some farmers believe that it can be controlled without fungicides through some simple measures like changing the time of day of irrigation. However, thus far no grant has been available for a credentialed scientist to test their idea.

This is the type of project that can fall between the cracks of major institutions, and where we may be able to help.

Translating Agricultural Apps for a Global Audience

An increasing number of farmers in developing countries own smartphones, but many useful agriculture-related apps (such as irrigation scheduling apps) have not been translated or otherwise localized. Making apps more relevant and accessible to farmers, work that could show results with a smaller budget and shorter time-frame than traditional agricultural research, could be a great fit for us.

As we grow, we will aim higher with our project outcomes.