Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nourishing 9 Billion: Millennials Weigh in on Global Food Challenges

Editor’s Note: A version of this post originally appeared on the Net Impact blog.
By Paula Luu
The world’s population is expected to grow from 7 billion to 9 billion people by 2050. Right now, there are 805 million hungry people in the world. It’s estimated that 16 percent of those 805 million people live in developed countries.
Meanwhile, agriculture contributes to almost 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, uses 37 percent of landmass, and accounts for 70 percent of all freshwater extracted globally for human use. It is also a major polluter, as runoff from fertilizers and manure disrupts water sources like lakes, rivers and coastal ecosystems. Figuring out how to feed 9 billion people — while also advancing rural development, curbing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting valuable ecosystems — is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

To contribute to the solutions for a sustainable future, Net Impact and CollaborateUp hosted two “Nourishing 9 Billion” SolutionLabs at the University of California, Davis and Tufts University this spring. Both events were part of our new national series designed to allow students to work side-by-side with food system experts to engage with this critical issue and develop solutions that could change the world.

A diverse group of over 60 students -– from computer science majors to international development majors to soil science PhD candidates -– and young professionals gathered to generate groundbreaking ideas, all bringing a variety of perspectives and knowledge to the table and approaching the issue from different interest points.

Millennials speak up

Regardless of what drew them to the event, one thing was clear: This issue matters to millennials. But don’t take our word for it … hear from a few of the students who are spending their time thinking about the world’s toughest problems.

Students and young professionals at the SolutionsLab broke up into groups with the experts to develop ideas and solutions for a specific problem in the food system, which they pitched to the experts for feedback. Areas where the next-generation leaders saw the most promise included reducing food waste nationally and globally, coming up with a way to monetize food waste, and diversifying diet and farming practices in developing countries. Students pointed out the problems with our current food system:
Brainstorming about these issues also allowed some participants to make unexpected connections with their own work. Rashmi Ekka applied the learnings from the day to her business idea that she’s launching in India after she graduates from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.
Even though the issue of solving our global food system seems daunting, students who attended were surprised at how quickly their groups were able to come up with tangible solutions.
Some of the solutions proposed to improve our global food system included:
  • Adding freshness indicators on food packaging to reduce food waste.
  • Developing a SMS texting service to help farmers plant the most efficient crops and reduce food waste on the farm.
  • Creating a recycling center for food that would provide monetary incentive for residential and commercial customers to turn in their food waste.
  • Targeting malnourished regions in the world to produce soil-appropriate plant crops high in micronutrients.
Connecting with other students and professionals yielded more than just solutions. It inspired students to turn their passion into action, now and in their careers.
Problems this complex always have more than one solution, and we’re looking forward to hearing from more of you who want to tackle this important issue with us. We’re expecting the Nourishing 9 Billion SolutionsLab to arrive on more university campuses in the coming year. Stay tuned for updates and be sure to follow Net Impact on Instagram and Twitter.
Image credit: Flickr/Martina TR
Paula Luu is Senior Manager of Brand and Media Marketing for Net Impact. She raises the visibility of Net Impact as a global thought leader on next generation leaders and impact careers. Prior to joining Net Impact, she was the Communications Manager at the Pacific Institute, where she managed marketing initiatives that promoted and advocated for sustainable water policies, corporate water stewardship, and social equity.
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MEXICO MANGO MAFIA : Big dope stash found in mango shipment

CBP photo
Marijuana in mango load

This shipment of mangoes was contained in a trailer that also held a hidden stash of marijuana.



Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 12:29 pm |Updated: 12:36 pm, Wed Jun 17, 2015.

Nogales International

Port officers in Nogales have seized another large marijuana load that smugglers stashed in the ceiling of a commercial produce trailer.

On Monday, after a drug-sniffing dog alerted to a tractor-trailer hauling a shipment of mangoes, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Commercial Facility discovered 274 packages of marijuana hidden in the ceiling of the trailer.

The driver, 57-year-old Ramon Emilio Felix-Lopez of Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, was referred to federal investigators, CBP said. 

The nearly 1,700-pound dope load, valued at $847,000, was seized, along with the tractor-trailer and mangoes.

CBP said seizure represents the fourth such find in just over the past month.

“In each of the previous shipments, the drugs were either co-mingled within melons or hidden within the roofs of the trailers,” the agency said in a news release.

In one instance, officers at the Mariposa port on June 2 found 200 packages of marijuana weighing a total of 1,945 pounds hidden in the ceiling of a produce trailer. 

On May 23, CBP officers at the same facility found 1,992 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $996,000 in the ceiling of a trailer.

In another melon-related bust, port officers found nearly 1,500 pounds of pot mixed into a shipment of watermelons. The marijuana had been bundled to look like the fruit.

More about Drug Smuggling

India’s mango exports to remain below 25,000 tonnes this year: Assocham

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | Jun 17, 2015, 04.37PM IST

"Mango exports have fallen significantly in recent years in quantity terms i.e. from 55,585 tonnes in 2012-13 to 41,280 tonnes in 2013-14 thereby registering a fall of about 26 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y),” according to the analysis based on a study titled ‘Mango: Anxiety on production & export front,’ conducted by Assocham.

LUCKNOW: Export of mangoes from India might fall by up to 40per cent in terms of quantity and might remain less than even 25,000 tonnes as unseasonal rains coupled with hailstorms between February-end and early-April lashed major mango producing areas across India thereby damaging the crop and causing a dearth of 'export-quality' fruit, according to an ASSOCHAM analysis. 

Mango exports have fallen significantly in recent years in quantity terms i.e. from 55,585 tonnes in 2012-13 to 41,280 tonnes in 2013-14 thereby registering a fall of about 26 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y)," according to the analysis based on a study titled 'Mango: Anxiety on production & export front,' conducted by the Agri-business council of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). 

Even previously, exports of mangoes had fallen by over 12 percent Y-o-Y i.e. from over 63,440 tonnes in 2011-12 to 55,585 tonnes in 2012-13. Though in terms of value, mango exports rose by about 26 percent Y-o-Y i.e. from over Rs 209 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 265 crore in 2012-13. 

But the growth in realisation had fallen drastically from 26 percent in 2012-13 to eight per cent in 2013 14. 

However, export of mango pulp from India has risen both in terms of quantity and value by 18 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in 2013-14, further noted the ASSOCHAM analysis.

 UAE alone accounted for over 60 per cent of India's total mango exports followed by UK (16 per cent), Saudi Arabia (four per cent), Kuwait (three per cent) and Qatar (two per cent) in 2013-14. While Kuwait registered a whopping 456 per cent jump Y-o-Y followed by Bahrain (28 per cent), Saudi Arabia (3.4 per cent) and UK (2.3 per cent), US did not register any growth in imports of mango (quantity-wise) from India, rest all countries registered negative growth in 2013-14. 

"Apart from poor mango production due to damage caused by unseasonal rains in top mango producing states early this year, increase in freight costs is also proving to be a hurdle for mango exporters,"
said DS Rawat, national secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

"Apart from poor mango production due to damage caused by unseasonal rains in top mango producing states early this year, increase in freight costs is also proving to be a hurdle for mango exporters," said DS Rawat, national secretary general of ASSOCHAM. 



"Stiff competition from other mango producing countries, together with a dearth of proper packaging and storage facilities in major mango growing regions are other key concerns of the exporters," said Rawat.

Mango production in India might decline this year by 35-40 percent, due to crop damage following unseasonal rainfall in major growing states, noted the ASSOCHAM study.

With a share of over 23 per cent, Uttar Pradesh is ranked India's leading mango producing state as of 2013-14 followed by Andhra Pradesh (15 per cent), Karnataka (9.5 per cent), Telangana (nine per cent) and Bihar (seven per cent) which remained top five states in this regard.


The fabulous life of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed


For two years, one of the world's wealthiest men, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, was locked in a battle with Forbes over his net worth, with the prince claiming the publication had underestimated his fortune by nearly $9.6 billion.

On Monday, the disgruntled billionaire and Forbes Media announced that the defamation suit has been settled on "mutually agreeable terms," Reuters reported. 

The magazine currently has Alwaleed pegged as the 34th richest person in the world, with $22.6 billion in wealth
. (Bloomberg lists Alaweed as the 20th wealthiest in the world, with $30.6 billion in wealth.)

Regardless, Alwaleed is still rich beyond belief from his stake in his Kingdom Holding Company, his Saudi real estate investments, shares in Arab media companies, and investments in public and private companies globally, including Twitter and Chinese e-commerce giant

Lucinda Chen and Julie Zeveloff contributed to this post.

Prince Alwaleed was born into Saudi royalty.

Wikimedia Commons

Prince Talal, Alwaleed's father.

He is the son of Prince Talal and Mona Al Solh.

His maternal grandfather was the first prime minister of Lebanon and his paternal grandfather, King Abdulaziz, created Saudi Arabia.

He attended a California school for college.


It was while attending Menlo College in Atherton, California that he acquired what many believe to be a Western world outlook, making him the go-to Saudi investor for American businessmen.

He got his big break when he invested in a little company called Citicorp.


A young Prince Alwaleed in 1994.

He received a $30,000 gift, a $300,000 loan, and a house from his father after graduating, and slowly began investing.

In 1991, when Alwaleed was 36, he made a high-stakes decision to invest in Citicorp, which made him $800 million. By 2005, that had turned into $10 billion.

He was married to the beautiful Princess Ameera Al-Taweel, but the pair recently split.

They were married for eight years, but Alwaleed revealed in a 2015 interview with the Saudi Gazette that they had recently separated.

"I have officially separated from Princess Ameera Al-Taweel, but she remains a person that I have all respect for. She represented the Saudi woman in the best way through her various participations locally, regionally and internationally," he told the paper.

He has met many of the richest and most impressive people on the planet.

Getty Images

Alwaleed makes a point of meeting and being seen with the world's royals, politicians, and celebrities.

He and his then-wife were guests at Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal wedding, and he's met the Queen of England, Prince Charles, Nicholas Sarkozy, Queen Rania of Jordan, Michael Jackson, and the former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, among others.

He owns an estimated $700 million in jewelry.

Lucas Jackson/REUTERS

Princess Ameerah, Alwaleed's wife, wearing some gorgeous earrings.

When Forbes' Kerry Dolan visited with the Saudi Prince in 2009, he reportedly showed her part of his impressive jewelry collection that he claimed neither he nor his wife even used:

"The most spectacular set on display was a diamond and emerald necklace with three emeralds the size of sparrow eggs dangling from the center, with earrings and a ring to match. With a combined total of 200 carats, the set is worth $40 million," Dolan wrote.

He sleeps only four hours a night and loves CNBC.

The prince follows a bizarre schedule of going to bed at 4 or 5 am, and waking up at 9 am. He then eats one big meal a day at 8 pm which he calls "lunch," according to Forbes.

The TV is constantly turned to CNBC while Alwaleed is eating or working, and the Saudi royal has even appeared as a guest on his favorite TV channel.

He's a women's rights advocate (sort of).


The prince takes pride in the fact that half of the employees of his Kingdom Holding Company are women. "Frankly I always side with qualifications regardless of gender," he told the Saudi Gazette. "I am trying to be fair to women because their rights are still not fully recognized in our country."

But he's been accused of doing it for publicity: For instance, Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson reports his female pilot Hanadi Zakariya Hindi has hardly flown any of Alwaleed's aircraft, and when she was hired, Alwaleed told his aviation staff that she never would.

Alwaleed was reportedly in the running to buy New York's iconic Plaza Hotel.

The billionaire owns a 25% stake in the famous hotel; he reportedly sought to buy the rest of it from its current owner, although that deal has not been done.

The prince also owns the Savoy Hotel in London, and has a stake in Four Seasons.

And he's building the tallest skyscraper on the planet.

The prince has spearheaded the construction of Kingdom Tower, the tallest planned building in the world (via Dezeen).

The skyscraper will rise above Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, near the Red Sea, and reach a height of over 3,280 feet.

That's at least 568 feet taller than the world's current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which was designed by the same architect. It's slated for completion in 2018.

He bought the third biggest yacht in the world for $500 million.


Alwaleed's old yacht, the New Kingdom 5KR Yacht, was 282 feet long, and appeared in the Bond movie "Never Say Never Again." The boat has a disco, cinema, helipad, pool, guest rooms, and more.

But Alwaleed reportedly commissioned a new yacht double the size at 557 feet, making it the third biggest yacht in the world. It will cost a reported $500 million, but there's still no word on when it will be completed.

He owns a lot of expensive cars, too.

His collection includes a Rolls Royce Phantom, which retails just under $500,000, a $48 million diamond-encrusted Mercedes Benz SL 600, and several other Lamborghinis and Ferraris.

He bought (and then sold) an Airbus 380 plane.



The plane was reportedly tricked out with three floors, a Turkish bath, a "concert hall" with seating for 10, a boardroom with holographic projectors, and a garage for his Rolls Royce. The aircraft cost an estimated $500 million.

Alwaleed recently sold the plane to a private buyer for an undisclosed price, with proceeds going toward his investments in Saudi Arabia and the greater Middle East, according to his spokesperson.

But he still owns his Boeing 747.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Alwaleed owns a $220 million Boeing 747 with a throne, two bedrooms, and a 14-seat dining table with 11 flight attendants from around the world.

He was once sued over the commission of the sale of yet another plane to former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, and ordered to pay $120 million, according to Bloomberg.

He lives in a 420-room palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Alwaleed's palace is made with high-quality marble and hung with large portraits and photographs of himself, according to Forbes.

It also has two indoor pools and an outdoor tennis court.

He also owns a huge farm/resort on the outskirts of the city.

Google Earth

The real Grand Canyon.

The Farm reportedly has over 120 acres, and has a miniature version of the Grand Canyon, a mini-zoo, horse stables, and five artificial lakes.

Alwaleed is a big game hunter.

Julie Zeveloff/Business Insider

He often goes on hunting expeditions, and shoots game that are typically illegal to hunt. His prized animal is a stuffed zebra that he killed with his daughter, reports Forbes.

His palace is filled with the taxidermied animals that are put on display for guests to admire.

He has hired little people to act like his "court jesters."


Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson reports: "Almost every source we spoke to, including Alwaleed's official spokesperson, confirmed that, like a medieval monarch, Alwaleed keeps in his entourage a group of dancing, laughing, joking dwarfs."

The sources continued that even though they were initially shocked, in Saudi culture it would be considered charity since the little people would most likely be out of work and considered "freaks" in the country.

But it's not all about the toys: Alwaleed also donates heavily to charities.

AFP/Getty Images

It is common for Alwaleed to make donations to petitioners, as well as to numerous charities and causes through the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation (even if it might just be for publicity).