Robynne Anderson's Emerging Thoughts on Ag

Blog Archives

Respect: Advancing Women in Agriculture

When you think about agriculture and food, women are involved in every aspect.  We represent most of the world’s smallholder farmers, livestock keepers, grocery buyers, and household cooks. So if women are a vast part of every aspect of producing and serving our food, why is there a dearth of them in leadership in agriculture? […]

More Than Pretty Landscapes: How Canada Stacks Up Globally on Sustainability

Our friends at Real Agriculture took the time to interview me at FarmTech in Alberta.  It is always fun to chat with Shaun, and got to discuss how Canada is doing on sustainable agriculture.  It is particularly important since progress is being made on some global indicators that would allow more consistent and direct comparisons […]

What a SuperCluster!

No, I am not swearing at you. Or if I were, it would be to express excitement over the new innovation work in Canada. The Government of Canada set out a challenge to have public, private and academic institutions band together to create new innovations to support Canadian growth and jobs. A great example of […]

Growing Canada’s New Field of Dreams

This post was originally posted on the Canadian Biomass website. Feb. 12, 2018 – Canada has always been an agricultural powerhouse, but these days it’s not just about selling prairie wheat, P.E.I. potatoes and maple syrup to the world. Now we’re also building bio-cars from ag-based fibres, composites and foams. We’re creating naturally derived pharmaceuticals […]

Canada’s Agriculture Day 2018

On the occasion of Canada’s 2018 Agriculture Day, which is on February 13th, I want to take time to reflect on some of the incredible work in agriculture that Canadians are accomplishing. It is such a thrill to pause each February 13th and realize that we’ve made incredible progress in just the past year, and […]

Results from the International Year of Pulses, Two Years Out

The International Year of Pulses (IYP) was declared by the United Nations for 2016 and ended in February 2017. What were the year’s legacy outcomes?  The IYP saw the pulse sector band together to conduct an unprecedented worldwide campaign. Today, multiple sources and research results agree:  this very special crop might make an immense difference […]

Remarks on the Occasion Of Robynne Anderson’s Acceptance into The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame

“Our Time has Come!” It is an amazing night to have three women inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame on the same evening, moving us from 8 women and 210 men. Now if we just keep doing this for the next 70 years, we’ll be all caught up. But seriously, it is a […]

Raise a Glass for World Milk Day!

                When you picture a glass of milk in a child’s hand in Canada, it might not lead you to think about the one billion people around the world who derive their livelihoods from the dairy sector. In fact, livestock, including dairy, is often a portal of entry […]

Trading is the Spice of Life

The Spice Islands. Malabar. These names evoke historical ties to distant lands, exotic tastes, and thrilling adventures. The spice trade was the foundation of globalism and multiculturalism before we talked about such things. These traders have always been ethnically diverse, creative and co-operative to ensure the spices are shared around the world. So it was […]

International Spice Conference

Spices have driven exploration, trade, and globalism for millennia.  So it is a great honour to go Kerala India to speak at the International Spice Conference. I’ll be addressing a pressing issue for global movement of food:  the need for Codex reform. Facilitated by Geemon Korah, my fellow panelists are Ramesh Bhat, a food safety […]

Feast on Pulses January 18

The upcoming holidays may make you think about New Year’s indulgences and so what a great way to start the New Year off right to feast on Pulses too in 2017. Chickpeas, beans, lentils, and peas are great food. My favorite recipe is the Punjabi Dal Makhani. They are so good for people and for […]

WHO Election

The race for the Secretary General of the UN is still looking complex, and now the new race to be head of the World Health Organisation has opened up. Please see a blog on the candidates by my friend Felix Dodds, a keen commentator on the UN: 


What could be more exciting than recruiting young people to agriculture?  Farming First is launching a great campaign called #IamAg campaign, to encourage more young people to take up agricultural careers.  Between now and 21st October, will be sharing the stories of ag professionals from across the globe, across the whole value chain. Our first […]

Oat Grower Overcomes Harvest Challenges to Support African Schools

Prairie Oat Growers Association President, and a good friend, Art Enns, sowed a 35-acre crop this spring with the generous intention of donating the revenues of the harvest to the Manyinga Project. With a wet and rainy start to the harvest season, Art was in store for an adventurous day in the field. 

Tackling Malaria Through Innovation

The ability to create innovative products is essential for improved living. One of the most compelling challenges we face is malaria. About 3.4 billion people – half the world’s population – are at risk of malaria. In Africa, a child dies every 2 MINUTES from malaria. In addition to deaths, the social and economic costs […]

Outcomes of the Pan-African Conference in Zambia

The pulse of development is often a bean. The Pan-African Legumes conference is highlighting some of the outcomes of their meeting in Zambia. It was a pleasure to be a speaker regarding the International Year of Pulses. I’ve never seen such an enthused and dedicated audience at any meeting. Every workshop was packed, people were […]

International Edition of Seed World: Calls for more Research

The International Edition of Seed World touched on global issues in the seed sector in time for the International Seed Federation meeting in Uruguay.  An article on the need for more research is on page 42 based on an excellent report by Dorothy Murrell – also a seed sector veteran.  It was a privilege to […]

EnRoute Magazine: The Frequent Flyer

I was featured in this month’s enRoute magazine. Read about my work and travel experiences:

Tech, Data and Ag

Many have the impression that technology is for “new” sectors; that farming – which represents a third of the world’s population, half its poor, and is the primary driver of rural development – needs no more than a plow. The sleepy vision of agriculture belies the reality that the most empowered farmers deploy technology regularly […]

Investing in Nutrition

Global action is urgently needed to tackle the pervasive problem of malnutrition. For too long, it has been underfunded – receiving just $3.9 billion annually in global funding. Reaching the targets to reduce stunting among children and anemia in women, increase exclusive breastfeeding rates, and mitigate the impact of wasting will require an average annual […]

Getting Oat Innovation on the Agenda

Oats – they are a grain that evokes comfort, home, and a hearty healthiness. Whether oatmeal cookies, oatmeal, or an amazing addition to savoury dishes, there is something about oats that evokes fond memories for me. Plus it is a reminder of Canada’s productive farming capacity. Canada produces the most oats and is responsible for […]

Science and the Environment

We all live in it. We all interact with it. Whether it is a farmer in a field, or someone dealing with pollution in a city, or a fisher struggling in an ocean, the environment touches every person and every sector. So it is exciting to think about the upcoming United Nations Environment Assembly in […]

SEED Awards

Small enterprises support food production and agriculture around the world, so it is a great opportunity to apply for SEED awards this year that recognise entrepreneurship in developing countries with a strong interest in sustainable development. SEED highlights the deadline for applications below: Start-up enterprises that solve pressing local issues by integrating social and environmental […]

Seeing Agriculture as a Whole

Agricultural priorities have long included productivity and leading minds are focusing on the ways it can contribute to furthering human health, supporting ecosystems, and addressing climate change. The Farming First team have put together a great interview with Dr. Monkombu Swaminathan who, together with Dr. Norman Borlaug, helped found the spearhead the Green Revolution. His […]

Pulses Set Racing at Victoria Falls

This article originally appeared on Huffington Post.  Normally, Livingstone is home to 150,000 Zambians and international tourists seeking out the unique beauty of the Victoria Falls. This week, Livingstone has also been host to the Pan African Grain Legume and World Cowpea Conference, the first conference dedicated to boosting pulse productivity, nutrition and processing in Africa. […]

FANRPAN Voted Top Think Tank

Agriculture is always in need of great minds, and it is the consensus of everyone that the FANRPAN team, including CEO Lindiwe Sibanda, are some of the most innovative thinkers in the world.  Developing new ideas and building social innovations to advance agriculture and nutrition has made them leaders in Africa – and the world […]

BioEnterprise in BC

There is great news from BioEnterprise that they are launching their office in BC. It is an honour to sit on the board and to help foster agricultural innovation and entrepreneurship. Bioenterprise has established a strategic partnership with the BC Innovation Council (BCIC), and joins the BC Acceleration Network (BCAN) to support the commercialization of […]

Pulse Partnerships in India

The Pulses Conclave held in Jaipur February 17- 19 was one of 11 signature events in 2016 to mark the United Nations International Year of Pulses. I had the honour of speaking during the opening session, and highlighted the many activities taking place across the Global Pulse Confederation to celebrate the International Year. In just […]

From Pulse Feast day to feast pulses all year!

These last weeks at Emerging Ag have been tremendously exciting thanks to the buzz created by Pulse Feast. Months of hard work and great collaborations between all the IYP2016 partners made January 6th a remarkable starting point for the International Year of Pulses. From Canada to France, through Mexico, the US, UK and Mauritania, the […]

Pulse Feast Thunderclap – We Need Your Support

Tomorrow is a big day for us.  On January 6th we have a global thunderclap to promote Pulse Feasts around the world. Thunderclap is an app that allows organisations and their supporters to share messages on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr) automatically.  If you sign up, the Thunderclap will automatically post a #PulseFeast message around […]