Feeding the World through InnovationShare
Many believe the solution to global food insecurity is to produce more food to feed millions; but what if we already produce enough food? The question then becomes: How can we innovate new ways to conserve the food we already produce?
My position with the Iowa State University Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AgEI) has taught me to look at issues, like food insecurity, a little differently than others might. I enjoy passing this different viewpoint on to the emerging leaders I have the opportunity to work with as a part of Land O’Lakes’ Global Food Challenge. This year marks the second opportunity I will have to participate as a university representative. Initially, I accepted the position out of excitement for helping students innovate new ways to solve the issue of world hunger based on my experience with Iowa State University student group Kinosol.
Four Iowa State University students created KinoSol, a mobile, solar-powered food dehydrator designed to decrease post-harvest loss for subsistence farmers in developing countries. KinoSol has positively impacted the lives of those living in rural, developing communities and help people, mainly women, efficiently use the food they produce. The KinoSol unit lessens food wastes and increases market accessibility by reducing the amount of time it takes to dry food and reduce the chances pests will harm the food.
The field test results from Uganda were used to create the final KinoSol unit, which the company introduced on a global scale in January 2016. The team is busy expanding its partnership opportunities with mission-based church programs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to introduce the KinoSol units to communities around the world in need of improved food preservation practices. The goal: Transition KinoSol from the developmental stage to large-scale production.
It’s this type of innovation from students—including those innovations that the students involved in the Global Food Challenge are creating—that will help us solve food insecurity around the world.
About the Author:
Carly Cummings is the Program Coordinator for the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AgEI) at Iowa State University. She works to provide students practical business development and entrepreneurial experiences with agri-business companies which are essential for the students’ success in future careers. Her experiences with the program have taken her around the world on business development assignments. Carly is partnering with Addison Bidwell, a Land O’ Lakes, Inc. Emerging Leader for Food Security, to develop solutions for improving food security.