Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

  • Department of Global Development
  • Agriculture
  • Food
  • Global Development

As COVID-19 disrupts food systems around the world, a pivot to more agile and inclusive data collection and analysis is critical to avert widespread hunger, according to Cornell Global Development experts in a comment piece published Aug. 5 in Nature.

As the pandemic has unfolded with staggering speed, it has placed massive pressure on both health and food systems. The United Nations warned that COVID-19 pandemic could push upwards of 132 million people worldwide into the ranks of the undernourished.

Faculty members Jaron Porciello, Hale Ann Tufan, Edward Mabaya and Ronnie Coffman authored the commentary "Averting hunger in sub-Saharan Africa requires data and synthesis."  Other co-authors include Jemimah Njuki of the International Development Research Center and Paul Winters from the University of Notre Dame.

"Building a more resilient food system relies on many things, among them agricultural data in real and near time," the authors wrote. "Such data must capture communities’ needs. Equally important is an infrastructure that can synthesize these data to help policymakers with limited resources maximize the impact of interventions and target research."

You can read the full comment piece on the Nature website

Nature co-authors

Jaron Porciello

Jaron is the primary investigator and co-director for Ceres2030: Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger, a three-year and multi-institutional initiative that brings together evidence and cost-models to support coordinated G-7 donor decision making as they explore their role in the international effort to end hunger (Sustainable Development Goal 2). 

Nature co-authors

Hale Ann Tufan

Hale Ann Tufan is associate director for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement (ILCI) and co-director of the Gender Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project. Her work focuses on building gender responsive agricultural research systems, through curriculum development and training delivery for GREAT, and leading research on priority setting, market research, gender research and on-farm testing for the Nextgen Cassava and ILCI projects.

Nature co-authors

Ed Mabaya

Ed Mabaya is a scholar and a development practitioner with more than two decades of experience working on development, agribusiness value chains and food security issues with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. He is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Global Development where his teaching, research and outreach work focuses on economic development in Africa. 

Nature co-authors

Ronnie Coffman

For over 40 years, Ronnie Coffman has indefatigably empowered remarkable cadres of people in the pursuit of better lives for people in some of the world’s most populous countries. He has dedicated himself to helping smallholder farmers with scarce resources whose lives are frequently bypassed by agricultural science and innovation. He serves as the Andrew H. & James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor and Director of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

Jaron Porciello
Hale Ann Tufan
Ed Mabaya
A headshot of Ronnie Coffman

Keep Exploring

A man in a lab coat loads a blue tube into a metal chamber labeled "Hiperbaric High Pressure Processing."


Cornell AgriTech’s first-of-its-kind research combines the nonthermal processing technologies of pulsed electric field and high-pressure processing.

  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Food Science
  • Beverages
a man sits in front of many computer monitors

Field Note

Amidst farm fields and dairy barns, an agricultural revolution is underway — with algorithms, sensors, and automation changing the face of farming. Martin Perez '25, a doctoral student in animal science at Cornell University, works at the...
  • Animal Science
  • Statistics and Data Science
  • Digital Agriculture