In flood-hit fields in the Philippines, farmers are testing a hardy new variety of rice that can survive completely submerged for more than two weeks.
In Kenya’s Kibera slum, poor urban families are turning around their diets and incomes just by learning to grow vegetables in sack gardens outside their doors.
And in India, a push to help marginalized rural communities gain title to their land is leading to a significant drop in hunger.
These are just a few of the kinds of innovations and initiatives that experts say will be critical if the world is to feed itself over coming decades as the population soars, cities sprawl and climate change takes its toll.
By 2050, the planet will need at least 70 percent more food than it does today to meet both an expected rise in population to 9 billion from 7 billion and changing appetites as many poor people grow richer, experts say.
“Can we feed a world of 9 billion? I would say the answer is yes,” said Robert Watson, chief scientific adviser to Britain’s Department of Environment and Rural Affairs and a former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
But doing so will require fundamental changes to unsustainable but well-entrenched policies and practices, from eating so much meat to spending trillions on agriculture and fuel subsidies, he said.
In the meantime, many hunger fighters say the answer lies in clever alterations to the way food is planted, watered, harvested, stored, transported, sold, owned and shared.
Many of those changes are already being tested in the world’s farms and fields, in laboratories and government offices, in factories and markets. Some are even speaking of the beginnings of a 21st century food revolution.