To sensitize consumers and policy makers on agro-ecological farming practices and diverse food systems using effective communication tools
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
Participatory Guarantee System Organic Council (PGSOC) is a Pan-Indian society of grassroots organisations working in rural areas. The member organisation of the society have decades of experience in working with small, marginal and women farmers and spread across multiple agro-ecological zones of India. PGSOC is working with 8000 farmers facilitated by 17 grassroots organisations situated across the landscape of the country. PGS Organic Council has a unique experience of around 14 years in managing the PGS Organic label which is a community label. The label is shared on the basis of participative verification of compliance to agro-ecological farming standards. The products of these farmers who are certified with Participatory Guarantee System by PGSOC has a decent presence in the marketplace across India. PGSOC is well networked with various organisations, informal networks and individuals in India working on similar lines through years of engagement and relationship building with them. PGSOC is well acquainted with diverse set of farmers, consumers and policy makers of India and have developed good understanding with them.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Agro-climatic zone map of India
India is a vast and diverse country in South-east Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area and the second-most populous country in the world. India is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast. India has multiple geographical terrains including mountains, plateaus, plains, deserts and a huge coastline. India is home to wide range of biodiverse species of plants and animals and contains four of the world's 34 biodiversity hotspots. India has 7 major rivers along with hundreds of smaller rivers and tributaries.
- India is a secular federal republic governed in a democratic parliamentary system. It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society with multiple religious affiliations. There are 28 states and 9 Union territories in India, with 22 official languages and hundreds of dialects in various regions. The cultural and ethnic diversity is the core of the nation integrity.
- According to World Bank report, 44% of India's total workforce was employed in agriculture in 2018. India has 20 agro-ecological zones with plethora of farming practices and crops being cultivated by the farmer. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, Indian cuisines vary substantially from each other, using locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruit. Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
The vision addresses the challenges with the following 3 broad intervention strategies:
- Promotion and Consumer awareness: The effective public discourse of safe food value systems will lead to increased awareness and sensitization about safe food and the role of small and marginal farmers. Nutrition education with appropriate messaging will be the stepping stones for behavioural changes in food consumption patterns of consumers. Consumers will be able to relate to the importance of production systems and understand better about fair price, short supply chains, seasonality of food and nutritious food. The knowledge transfer of nutrition-preserving food preparation recipes and food storage will complement the consumers to sustain their behaviourial change. Specific programs to stimulate consumption of safe food among the producer consumers will enable empowerment of women and behavior changes in the small farm households.
- Labeling, Trade retailing and marketing: The small, marginal and women farmers and their community based enterprises will thrive once vertical, horizontal and local market linkages are provided. The dual marketing strategy will enable these farmers and their enterprises to attract consumers of all demographic profiles. The increase in sales will increase their incomes and thus reduce their distress. The standards and labeling systems developed from small holder perspective by including the social, economic and environmental value systems will ensure market and fair price to the farmers. The demand generated by consumers sensitised in the promotion and awareness campaign will also be channelized to these farming communities by creation of market access.
- Creating enabling environment: The voices of these vulnerable communities will be collectively presented in a political and bureaucratic language to the policy makers, creating a paradigm shift to an inclusive bottom up approach of policy making. The interest among farmers to change from chemical input based farming to agroecological farming created by the above mentioned interventions will be capitalized further by providing policy and infrastructure support. The partnership developed between local government and community will enable overcoming market constraints. Advocacy for women participation and leadership will empower the women and pave ways for gender mainstreaming.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
The vision is granulated into 3 broad intervention strategies and various activities are designed for each intervention.
a)Promotion and Consumer awareness:
•Develop effective communication campaigns
- Develop food and nutrition education and nutrition messaging highlighting the need for a diverse food system
- Carry out social behaviour change communication campaigns using multiple communication tools and platforms
- Undertake social media marketing campaigns
•Address acceptance issues
- Set up taste-testing activities and food diversity festivals
- re-designing the certification system to be more human centric and community based guarantee system and generating better understanding among consumers
- Communications to address seasonal availabilities of food
•Promote hygienic and nutritious food preparation
- Carry out cooking classes and recipe development
- Demonstrate nutrient-preserving and safe food storage and preparation at household level
- Introduce measures and practices to reduce food waste
b)Labeling, Trade retailing and marketing:
•Improve smallholders’ access to markets:
- Strengthen vertical linkages: diversify smallholders’ customer base
- Strengthen horizontal linkages: capacity-building and creation of producer organizations to assimilate produce, reduce transaction costs
- Provide market and price information
•Improve access to local and informal markets where low-income consumers traditionally purchase food
- Develop local and informal markets, incorporating the constraints and opportunities these markets offer in potential upgrading strategies
- Undertake dual marketing strategy: combination of reaching traditional and modern market outlets to improve financial sustainability while reaching low-income consumers
•Enable product differentiation as USP
- Promote trust based certification and labelling from small holder perspective to include indigenous food systems and promote local household consumptions
- Establish mechanisms that control, verify and signal nutritional quality
•Innovate in the marketplace and retailing
- Capacity build communities for packaging and labelling to improve affordability and nutrition awareness
•Promote Value Chain coordination
- Promote multi-stakeholder platforms: identification of food safety -relevant issues along the Value Chain, mapping of incentives, roles and contributions of each Value Chain actor, engagement in joint problem solving, policy dialogue
•Advocate for policies to promote agro-ecological agricultural practices that preserve the natural and social capital of small and marginal farmers.
•Develop local government and community partnerships to overcome market constraints and reduce dependence on private sector investment in value chains of small and marginal farmers.
•Advocate for changes in regulations to support women groups, reservations for women’s participation and leadership