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Innovating for a sustainable farming future – Episode 42

Our catchword of the month is innovation. First up, our Associate Vice President Donal Brown shares details on some of IFAD’s most innovative projects. Next, Claire Melamed, CEO at Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, gives us an update on what happened at the February gathering of donors and data organizations. We’re then joined by industry game-changers Mai Ann Healy of BioFiltro, a company set on revolutionizing wastewater treatment, and Avenews CEO Shalom Ben-Or, whose super-app is transforming agriculture.

Chef Pierre Thiam joins us from Senegal to tell us all about the West African superfood fonio and Colombian culinary master, Chef Juan Quintero, reveals how to cut down on food waste and source ingredients from environmentally friendly producers. Finally, we bring you the latest from Bangladesh and we talk about Green Ants and crypto.



Episode content


Donal Brown on small-scale farmers and innovation

IFAD AVP Donal Brown

IFAD’s Associate Vice President Donal Brown is in the know when it comes to all things related to sustainable development. This month, we get some insight into how small-scale farmer are holding their own in the innovation sphere.


Shalom Ben-Or and the super-app

AveNews CEO Shalom Ben-Or

Shalom Ben-Or is intent on transforming agriculture finance. He talks to us about what inspired him to found AveNews,  a fintech company whose eponymous super-app works to connect finance and agriculture.


Chef Pierre Thiam: Fonio, the ancient grain from West Africa – part 1

Pierre Thiam

Pierre Thiam of IFAD’s Recipes for Change is a chef, author and activist. He’s known for bringing West Africa’s flavoursome cuisine to fine dining. His company, Yolélé, has paved the way for small-scale farmers and opened new markets to African crops – including fonio.


Mai Ann Healy on worm waste and water

Mai Ann Healy

Biofiltro is revolutionizing wastewater treatment. Chief Sustainability Officer Mai Ann Healy talks to us about the company’s innovative method of using worm castings–or worm waste– to remove contaminants from wastewater and other new and exciting ways in which they are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and champion small-scale farmers.


Claire Melamed: The importance of accessible, accurate and timely data

Claire Melamed

In our latest episode of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development miniseries, Claire Melamed–CEO at Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data–gives us an update on what happened at the February gathering of donors and data organizations.


Mario Simmaco on how remote sensing and NFTs can help finance farmers

Mario Simmaco

The GreenAnt team is on a mission: reforest the world and tackle climate change. To achieve this, says founder and CEO Mario Simmaco, farmers need financial access – and that’s where GreenAnt steps in with an innovative project that involves remote sensing and non-fungible blockchain tokens.


Cutting down on food waste with Chef Juan Quintero

Chef Juan Quintero

Colombian Chef Juan Quintero of IFAD’s Recipes for Change is shaking things up in the kitchen and cutting down on food waste. He's got some tasty tricks up his sleeve to keep things sustainable.


Chef Pierre Thiam: Giving fonio the attention it deserves – part 2

Pierre Thiam

We go into more detail with Chef Pierre on the versatility of fonio. Check out the links above to learn more about Pierre and his products.


What does the climate future look like? Qasa Alom reports from Bangladesh

Qasa Alom

Reporter Qasa Alom wraps up his experience in Bangladesh with a final report from the frontline of climate change. If you want to see more of his work from Bangladesh you can check his YouTube channel: QasaVision.


Summing up

Many thanks to our producer Francesco Manetti, our reporters Ian Smith and Carolyn Sillau Herrera and our hosts, Brian Thomson and Michelle Tang. But most of all thanks to you for listening to this episode of Farms.Food.Future.

We’d like to hear from you – what do you think about our stories and the issues discussed and who do you want us to be talking to. Do get in touch at podcasts@ifad.org.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast via your favourite podcast platform and rate us.

We’ll be back at the end of April with more news, fresh from the farm.

And once again we’ll be trying to be Good for You, Good for the Planet and Good for the Farmers.


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