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A purposeful movement that unites marginal farmers & at-risk urban consumers with a mission to overcome food insecurity & climate crisis

frameworks to build local loop food systems, connecting communities in a contemporary coastal metropolis

Photo of Shubham Karchaudhuri
6 9

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Praakritik

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Eggsmen Organic Pvt Ltd- Egg farming as a solution for drought affected suicidal farmers Better Foods Food Marketing and Consumption Mapping The Food Truck Association of India - NGO Accessibility of cheaper nutritious food The Bombay Canteen - Restaurant , Indian food and Ingredients THRIVE- Urban Gardening , Landscaping, Apiary Blu Catch - Fishery cooperatives based Social Enterprise Aarey Conservation Group - Indigenous community of the only forest inside a metro city CB Logistics - Cold Chain Logistics from Farm to City, Last Mile Delivery Know your Fish - NGO Fisheries Sagarshakti - NGO Marine Bio Diversity Humane Society International - Animal Welfare Fatsmeagol Collective - Digital Marketing Satayushi Farms- Organic farmer, FBO, Organic Pesticide maker Extinction Rebellion - Environmental Movement Fishing Cat Conservancy- Circular economies and biodiversity conservation Humane Farm Animal Care - NGO ,Integrated Animal Systems, Ethical Treatment & Certification

Website of Legally Registered Entity

www.praakritik.com

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Mumbai

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

India

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Mumbai-densely populated city on India’s west coast. A financial center, it's India's largest city. 4355 km².

What country is your selected Place located in?

India -country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populated democracy in the world.

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Among the 20 cities projected to be the most vulnerable to coastal flooding in 2050 Mumbai is second only to Guangzou, China (Hallegatte et al., 2013). It has the sixth largest ‘at-risk’ assets among all major port cities and by 2070, an estimated 11.4 million people and assets worth $1.3 trillion would be at peril in Mumbai due to climatic extremes, so predicts the OECD study carried out by the University of Southampton. Some of the cities with the most ‘at-risk’ assets now—Tokyo, New Orleans, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Nagoya—will, over the next 50 years,be surpassed by Kolkata, Shanghai, Mumbai - booming Asian coastal metropolitan areas where trillions of dollars in economic assets will be vulnerable (Stutz, 2012).


Mumbai is the financial capital, I have completed my graduation degree to learn to be a chef in this city,my first job was in the city as most companies are headquartered here and it was really helpful start to begin my career. 

I run an NGO here for accessibility of cheaper nutritious food. I know the networks here in the food space ranging from the last mile home deliveries or Modern/General trade to farming cooperatives as well as urban communities; my also gets treated for her cancer in Mumbai as its has the best affordable healthcare for the same ailment.

Mumbai is also the city where I started my own company running food education and farmers markets, B2B and B2C sales of certified organic produce , the proximity to food basket (Under 300 km) and the infrastructures to get investments , ready markets for sales , buyers , creditors, hyper/semi and unaware consumers along with gentrification and urban issues plus my last 9 years (post adult period) in this city makes Mumbai my seconf home after the coastal city of Kolkata which is on a similar downward spiral but lacks the prowess of Mumbai, a potpourri of a multi ethnic professions and climate vulnerability due to sea level rise making it a city that needs to be saved from collapsology.


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.

The number of slum-dwellers is estimated to be 9 million.62% of all Mumbaikars live in informal slums. While its also home to multiple of Asias's richest.The religious groups represented include Hindus,Muslims,Buddhists,Jains,Christians,Sikhs.Native Christians include East Indian Catholics, who were converted by the Portuguese during the 16th century, while Goan and Mangalorean Catholics also constitute a significant portion of the Christian community of the city. Jews settled in Bombay during the 18th century.The development is pushing the tribals of the forests and the fishermen out of business|With a strong culture of fisheries while being a trade and finance hub Bombay has local Maharashtrian (state) food of the middle class.While new corporations and food deliveries have entered altering traditional Portuguese/Jewish/Mughal influences into a food dessert due to high prices. The day laborers have a restricted diet which is carb heavy but not nutritionally balanced. 62%+ of the population is Non Veg|14m above sea level, mild winters, humid summers & acute flooding during longer rains with cyclones increasingly hampering fisheries.Prevalent languages are Hindi,Marathi & Gujarati with English.Huge divides in the economic standing and rising property prices force the city labor to stay at the far corners, traveling hours to reach work for less than a dollar /day wage. Women wake up at 4 AM , not be with their children & cook food for husbands as city food costs are sky high and also go for work.Rampant gentrification (60% of the population stay in slums), Dharavi being the second largest slum in the world.Crops are grown 300 kms away from the city which includes rice ,pulses and a range of 32+ types of vegetables & under 15 types of fruits(Watermelon,Musk Melon, Banana,Papaya,Custard Apple,Mulberry,Mangoes, Passion Fruit,Sugarcane, Pineapple).The women & children don't have access to balanced diets.Malnutrition & anemia is highly prevalent in girl child and women.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

4355

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

18400000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Mumbai suffers from urbanization issues seen in fast growing cities in developing countries: widespread poverty and unemployment, poor public health and poor civic and educational standards .Premium land rates, leading to cramped, relatively expensive housing, usually far from workplaces,requiring long commutes on crowded mass transit/clogged roadways spend significant time traveling southward to the main commercial district.


1)The growing size of cities+rate of urbanization is straining the food systems (54.8% of Mumbai are immigrants).Despite that there are severe shortages in farm labor & the small scale farmers are quitting.


2)Inequality of wealth+sluggish economic growth challenging the agricultural sector which employs four fifths of the countries population.Mumbai relies on small agriculture producers: (80% of the food)


3)Malnutrition–undernourishment,micronutrient deficiencies & over-nutrition –presents serious challenges & has the potential to worsen leading to noncommunicable diseases radiating through lower income households affecting  health & welfare systems,thus impacting economy.


4)Natural Resources being depleted by unsustainable agricultural practices-other factors further threatened by climate change. causing acute water shortages(40% by 2030)+agriculture, forestry and other land use adding to global greenhouse gas emissions (of which half comes from land conversion).1/3 of the arable land is degraded with more being washed from heavy rain.Increased food prices by as much as 84% by 2050


5)Geopolitical Dynamics intensifying food insecurity showing highest levels of displacement while emerging political movements are demonstrating nationalist and isolationist tendencies that may impact trade agreements+international collaboration.Massive Volatility in supply & rates for certain commodities will happen despite betterment of infrastructure.


6)Technology impacts will not be evenly distributed. In complement to existing technologies, like mobile platforms, new Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies,GMO, robotics,big data, AI+machine learning will be implemented in small scale farms but the people still won’t have access and the speed of connectivity is slowing down.Gender inequality compounds this challenge: women in rural areas are much less likely to access the internet than men in the same communities.


7)Frequent days of extremely high temperatures+intense rainfal with the duration of these extreme days lasting longer into the month of August.Rainfall combined with the sea level rise, will escalate risks of flooding, and would lead to reduction in availability of fresh water due to saltwater intrusion as well as contamination.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

The percentage of the population that is malnourished has reached an all-time low. Synergistic policies, business practices and social efforts have increased accessibility to nutritious food and decreased the affordability.It has become cool among younger generations in the city to eat a healthy diet,as a result of marketing campaigns and social media; in developing contexts, inclusive economic growth and a vibrant rural economy support access to healthy food,including the critical initial days for cognitive and physical development.In this future climate change is partially mitigated,& adaptive efforts supported, through collaboration and a proliferation of shared best practices.While climate shocks still occur, their impact is absorbed by more resilient food systems.The “mutual benefit” philosophy underlying this country is stewarded by strong civil society institutions & international organizations.In this scenario, more people see technology as a tool in food systems. While the risks of new technologies persist,greater trust and strengthened cooperation mechanisms achieve a careful balance between regulation and innovation. There is greater availability, affordability & adoption of technologies that increase farmers’ productivity,such as satellites; strengthen value chain traceability, through sensors; and mitigate climate change, such through carbon storage.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Social Change:Balanced diets limiting animal-based protein,sugar,salt & fat.Sustainable food demand using indigenous systems with contemporary tweaks.Urbanization having an easier transition and can be more flexible with influx in demand for commodities hyper-locally.

Economic Shifts:Mumbai will engage in cooperative trade of exotic seeds/plants/spices while daily food will adopt more isolationist policies for a carbon friendly logistics.Markets will be more resilient as it would be planned with seasonality & locality in mind.Pricing will capture the externalities of health costs for marginal communities & environmental impact.Trade policies on local markets will lead to an increased number of breadbaskets.

Technology innovators engaged with consumers+influenced acceptance,social media+new education and marketing campaigns will influence consumer demand in transitioning farms.

Environmental Trends: Carbon captured through food for every city to offset the city production while efficiency of supply chain increases. Faster soil health transitions(Less than 1.5 years).Scarcity of water will be mitigated through smart irrigation, evaporation control and covered farming.Fall in energy consumption with chargeable batteries through micro grids will run smaller equipments

Political Developments:Nationalistic governments encourages subsidies.Migration will impact food production but sanctions for the same for basic commodities will be done by the state machinery from states that earlier would produce for the animal feed industry.Decentralized decision-making power will be held by the entire value chain vertically for market rates & the entire production value chain horizontally for decision making, policy demands, production planning & future project financing, funding research+institutions.

Refer to new full vision below as our team has added a lot more ...

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Part 1

The system starts with coastal cities using mangrove bio filtration merged with an indigenous technique of Khazan lands created many centuries ago and pre-date the Christian and Islamic occupation of Western Coastal India.Khazan lands have been subjected to planned and contour-integrated topo-hydro-engineering by local communities to produce reasonably sustainable productive agro-ecological and agro-economical systems

Agriculture

  • Salinity tolerant paddy crop is cultivated. The land is considered to be fertile.
  • Paddy coconut palms dot the lands.

Fish production

  • The waters inside the Khazan lands are used by fish to lay their eggs.
  • The area hosts ponds with a substantial fish population.

Salt making

  • Some of the lands are filled with saline water and left to dry.
  • Evaporated water leaves salt on the surface. These lands are divided into pans.
  • Salt is than sold commercially.

The Khazan lands are also considered to be important for recharging ground water levels in the nearby areas.

Topography

  • The Khazan lands are former wetland areas which are protected by bunds on the outer side from ingress by the brackish estuarine water.
  • The water flow into the lands is regulated by sluice gates that are operated at the outer bunds.
  • Besides outer bunds, inner bunds  with the help of sluice gates regulate the flow of water into the lands.
  • The bunds and sluice gates need to be regularly maintained.
  • Negligence leads to seepage of water from the estuary. This  leads to increase in salinity of the water inside Khazan lands which destroys the paddy crops.


Adding to same will be circular economy models,using value added products like crab, wild shrimp, oyster and sea weed farming which leads to further filtration and creation of crops.

Part 2

Creation of floating farms which can rise up with floods and uses basics of hydroponics and water hyacinth plant to create beds that can float in high tides and produce ample vegetables from the coast while the land is being converted into arable land from saline land using dikes system seen in Netherlands by slowly push back the water of the building dikes and creating polders(the term used to describe any piece of land reclaimed from water). Once dikes were built, canals and pumps were used to drain the land and to keep it dry.Using windmills as pumps to take out excess water off the fertile soil. in which we grow cash crops like flowers(Tulips) which is going to create additional compensatory income.

Addition of bycatch from the fishing industry to boost the Nitrogen/nutrient content of the soil which is otherwise going to pet food/other industry. This technique has been used in similar formats where sea bird poop in Peru was used to boost soil productivity.

Part 3

3 month resting of the soil to eradicate weeds by tarping the entire land piece and taking out the deepest rhizomes in a no till farming methodology post which nutrition building using rotational grazing from cows which produce manure and urine to increase the microbiome content of the field.Mobile Egg Farming using dynamic electrical fencing and pigs for low cost zonal tilling of clumped soil. As we know grass sequesters carbon faster than trees , we first let the cows graze, then the pigs till, then goats to further graze and then we mulch with waste, then we bring in cage free layered poultry with additional Nitrogen inputs from fishery by catch as mentioned above to not block the land with new age chop and drop nitrogen fixers. 

Part 4)

A Chauka system is a method for harvesting rainwater, typically used in arid areas that are subject to monsoon rains. Chauka comes from the Hindi word for square. The system consists of square shaped embankments. On three sides there are nine inch walls and one side is left open to allow rainwater to fill the structure. As one structure fills, then the overflow fills the next chauka and so on. Retaining the rainwater in this way helps prevent soil erosion and recharges the surface water enabling various grasses to thrive. This has the effect of holding the soil together and, as the chauka system is used mostly on common land, provides grazing areas for cow and goat herds. For this to be effective it is combined with the planting of grass seeds and trees.

This system is widely in use in the Dudu block of Jaipur district in Rajasthan, India. Here a local village development organisation GVNML, working in the area of Natural Resource Management, has been responsible for its uptake among local villages.

Part 5

Dividing the land mass into four bodies of water for 4 different purposes

a)Anna Sagar - Water body for food Crops, b)Dev Sagar -1st back-up of water body, c)Phool Sagar - Water body for cash crops, d)Pashu Sagar- Water body for fodder for the animals. This system coupled with fruit trees on the edges will make a land water proof for 6 years as tested above.

Part 6

Mapping the demand of the city ,block by block by running weekly farmers markets and then transitioning it into a home delivery model to understand seasonal requirements while piggy backing the bulk supply logistics of B2B sales to modern trade outlets in the city of Mumbai.This will allow us to map production post first 4 seasons.The marketing of local food is done with the help of celebrity chefs and restaurants festivals along with digital content creation to first familiarize and then empower consumers to cook at home

Part 7 

Creating farmizen assemblies in every growing district at the local agriculture colleges for direct democracy and cooperative solutions for the prospects of the future. The same farmers need to be a)Journalists b)Data Collectors c)Teachers for city folk coming from farm visits to reinstall the respect which farming presently has.Conflict resolution and facilitation skill training is an inseparable part of this to ensure that decision making is decentralized and mitigation of power can happen. Positions available for every circle of farmizen assembly are i)representatives who represent individual interest groups water/machinery/crop diseases/marketing and ii)facilitators who push individual working groups.Both these positions can have multiple people in the role and has to be shifted every two months.

Part 8

Creating a pathway/river of pollinators through the houses on both sides of long bridges of Mumbai city linking it to the forest on one side of the city to the end of the city and then starting of urban farms once the pollinators have been successfully integrated in the city scape using food waste from local buildings and restaurants we partner up with for the subscription of the produce which is coming from the farms.

Part 9

When attempting to resolve the forecasted and expected problems of the agro-industry in 2050, a system’s thinking approach encourages us to adopt macro-level perspectives, which in turn enable us to consider the agro-industry as a subsystem, operating within multiple other larger systems. The cumulative sum of larger systems entails a holistic vision, that details the structure of the Indian society that we consider necessary to support our Food Vision for 2050. As such, this paper briefly explains the ideal structure of a society operating in 2050, that would enable the overhaul of the current agro-industry to the desired state. We believe that an overhaul of the agro-industry will require, among other things, a reversal of the top-down approach of policymaking that is prevalent in the current systems of governance. While the administrative and logistical support of a central, stable authority will be necessary, we believe that considerable decision-making power and economic resource allocation will need to be disaggregated to enable bottom-up approaches to policymaking. As such, we propagate the concept of a ‘micro-democracy’, where individual constituencies 

1 (or smaller administrative units, if considered necessary) operate with greater independence that the current norms. Taking into account the current and expected advancements made in the field of technology and data analytics, we propose a radical system of e-governance. Essentially, e-governance would require the formalization and institutionalization of current trends already seen in India, such as a fast-growing rate of internet penetration and policy decisions such as Digital India 

2.We envision the creation of unique online platforms associated with each constituency, that enable greater and more efficient flows of information between the government and people. Unique identifiers such as Aadhar 

3. or Voter Identification and technological solutions such as geo-blocking would be utilized to ensure unique accounts for each citizens, belong to the relevant constituencies, in said platforms,thereby allowing us to replicate the process of electoral voting on an online platform designed to enable discussion and free flow of information between citizens of each constituency. Such a platform would enable the constituency-level government units to immediately avail the perception of potential micro-level policies among its citizens, engage in public discussion and feedback, and thereby alter policies to address the genuine issues and recommendations placed by all segments of society in an efficient and transparent manner. As such, a system that enables a true bottom up approach, combined with a systems-thinking perspective, would be formed, with decision making decentralized largely to constituency-level administrative units, which in turn use the online platforms to facilitate discussions and public comments from its constituency members, and ensure consequent allocation of resources in a fair and transparent manner.

Refer to new full vision below as our team has added a lot more ...

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Instagram

Describe how your Vision developed over the course of the Refinement Phase.

After enthusiastically focusing on techniques & solutions in phase 1, we collaborated with practitioners and experts to understand their feasibility and implementation. We realised that many good strategies were already in place or at least being considered, but still problems are not being solved in their entirety. 


We challenged ourselves to explore the following: Who is our food system really for.Can we change our approach, where the beneficiaries of our system are more than problems to be solved, but key components of the solution? And how to create models that can scale globally & be agile to adapt to local conditions and climate change. 


We drew inspiration from volunteer programs in China, radical farm-food banks in Oklahoma & circular economies in India to develop a framework to ensure a holistic approach. It became clear to us that what is needed first is a movement grounded in purpose to improve connectedness, only then will our Food Vision thrive.

Please provide the names of all organizations you meaningfully partnered with to develop this latest version of your Vision (they contributed at least 10 hours of time to the Vision development during the Refinement Phase).

Shantanu Pathak, Co-Founder / Care Mother - https://caremother.in

All pregnant women in India have access to personalized care to ensure safe birth and a healthy next generation. NGO partner for Farmacy Program.

Dimple Jangda,Founder/ PRANA Healthcare Centre -https://pranabydimplejangda.com

Make Ayurveda a Global phenomenon & a household practice.Ayurveda is the manual from nature that allows us to fulfil our desire for a long, healthy & happy life. Health Care Practitioner Partner.

Jithin C. Nedumala, Founder and CEO /Make a Difference -  https://makeadiff.in

Founded in 2006, MAD has built and maintained 60 volunteer-run communities across 23 cities, working with 4,000 volunteers a year to deliver long term impact to 3,500 children from the age of 10 till 28. Volunteer Program Partner.

Thilakasri Krepanand and Ishani Kulkarni /THIS-Social design & visual communication.

Shreyas Vatsayan - Senior Associate at Berkeley Research Group, Global investigations & Strategic Economist. 

Describe the specific steps you took during the Refinement phase to include different stakeholders to develop your Vision, including a description (age, profile, and total number) of the stakeholders engaged, and how you engaged with each.

Due to COVID-19, our research moved into action:

We formed a Farmer Producer Group to tackle challenges of Mumbai’s food system in the crisis- working to connect Maharashtrian farmers to aggregators, distributors, customers to get food stuck on farms to the city, the initiative is ongoing, with key participants: Ganesh Lokare, farmer, 33, Shailesh, farmer, OOO Farms; Kush Raut, 32, Eggsmen Organics; Ganesh Nakhawa, 7th generation fisherman, Blu Catch Fisheries; Shriya, 27, aggregator, Zaama Organics; Dharmishtha Goenka, 25, Praakritik; Aditya, 31, White Organics


In depth study to understand health conditions affected by nutrition of city’s at-risk population with experts:

Prana Healthcare Center: to better understand how Ayurveda will play a role in preventative healthcare in the future. Now, 2nd applicant, Adrienne is part of their Masterclass with Jain University to teach Farming and Ayurveda, with an outreach to 85,000 students. PHC will support our Pilot Project with free health classes to farmers, and co-design the first Ritucharya curriculum for our Expert Farmers Fellows. 

Care Mother: Initially connected with the founder for information, and now we are partnered with Care Mother to develop our Pilot Project. 

Arugula&Co founder Niharika Goenka, with a Masters in Nutrition - Columbia University and a mission is to help people eat their vegetables, joined to co-design our nutrition plans. 


For problem solving, innovation in data collection, tech, circular economies, tribal and indigenous knowledge we discussed, debated and took feedback from: Numer8; Martin Scherfler, Director, Auroville Consulting; Pranav, Activist, Fishing Cat Conservancy; Prakash Bhoir, Aarey Forest, 54, Tribal Singer and Community leader.


To learn how to build a movement:

Brought the founder of Make A Difference onto our core team to design our programs for community building and volunteers mobilization. Teamed up with Extinction Rebellion Global Support Team for onground volunteer action

What signals and trends did you draw from to inform your Vision? Please provide data or examples that back up each signal or trend.

Trend-T, Signal-S, Possibility-P

1)Environment:
T)Infra Projects destroying ecosystems.Compensatory forestry & monoculture.Erratic weather events
P)Better logistics with proximity to markets, lesser wastage.Resilient seeds
S)Declining resources.Destruction of mangroves and sea level rise
P)Rise of agroforestry & agro fisheries.New tolerant variants.Conservation efforts


2)Diet:
T)Stark difference in diet of marginal communities & those who order-in.Lesser focus on variety of produce & more on what is commonly bought at local markets.Aspirational health food being marketed & consumerism based agriculture
P)Formal diet with nutrients from limited varieties.Ethnic food revival.Broadening of palette for health over taste.Expensive healthy food for unsupported communities.Nutrition & ecology based agriculture.Decline in environment unfriendly commodity crops.Rise of preventive health foods.
S)Incomplete awareness about body and healthy food.Nutrition issues based on class.Packaged meals are appealing.Ordering in as a culture & decline in cooking at home everyday.
P)Farmer producer communities leading to Doctor farmer alliances.Cleaner eating habits with prescribed rations.Less cooking at home and communal kitchens for marginal communities.Dehydrated nutritional processed food for at risk communities.Alternative proteins & popularity of planetary diet.


3)Culture
T)Lesser trust in the market/producer.Farming as a profession becoming unappealing.
P)Farmer consumer connection becomes a norm.Make farming cool and profitable.
S)Children unaware about agriculture.Increase in farmer suicides.Food activism starting.
P)Integration of agriculture in schools and more connections to farms.Volunteers programs for supporting farms.Efforts to work on farmer health & mental wellbeing.


4)Technology

T)Increase in equipment cost for individual farmers
P)Shared models for equipment & infra thru our Hubs.
S)Regen. Ag methods being popularized
P)Adopt Regen Ag & adapt Indigenous Techniques, open source sharing


5)Policy
T)Insurance for farmers based on weather.Marketing of agro industries.Higher budget allocations.
P)Crop loss bailouts.Subsidies for farmers.Ease of loans with micro financing.Investment in private-public agri partnerships.
S)Price discovery portals.Taxation for all stakeholders based on resource usage.Red tapes on land lease
P)Decrease in middlemen.Rise of commodity trading.Allied industries.Easier land leasing for agri.


6)Housing,Transport, Work

T)High city rent.Shared transportation.Jobs from Green capitalism.
P)Popularity of non city living due to availability of basic infra around small towns.Over employment in organised sectors.Rise of peri-urban farms
S)Influx of landless labourers in cities/gentrification.Popularity of city farming
P)Farm sector jobs become more aspirational than day labouring.Agro-urbanism becomes a norm

Describe a “Day in the Life” of a key food system actor within your food system in 2050 (e.g., farmer, chef, supply chain actor, food policy actor, etc.).

The Brown New Deal, a think tank started in Mumbai,now an AI program to coordinate local & global food systems ensuring food security. Nicknamed BND.Today, BND is supporting India’s Prime Minister as the country goes into lockdown with the outbreak of a lethal virus. BND is really really really fast.

PM: Computerji, I followed your report, and quarantined India based on local food systems instead of State borders. How’s our outcome?

BND: "Call me BND" 
Predicting minimal virus impact:98% of Indians show high immunity because of existing nutrition programs & all micro food systems will sustain during lockdown.

Phone rings

PM: Oh no, it can't be! A meteor set to hit the Arabian Sea?..during this crisis!

Looks shook

This is top secret but BND I suppose you already know?

BND: Correct.Impact estimated in 3 weeks.Eminent sea level rise.Predicting food supply in coastal areas reduced by 30%.

PM: Gosh!Have we dealt with anything like this before?

BND: Yes. I have 7 methods to make floating farms. 42 of 114 communities at-risk already use these practices. Forming a global task force of floating farm practitioners.

5 minutes later

Task force ready. Best solutions will be identified & retraining of local farmers will initiate in 2 days via the farmer network.

PM: I assume we won’t be able to grow our usual sabzis? 

BND: Correct.6 staple & 55 atypic fast-growing crops identified.The doctor-farmer alliance will make nutrition plans.

PM: Atypic crops? Will people eat these? 

BND: No data.Not programmed for opinions. Contacting Minister of Diet.

PM: Minister,our new crisis plan is set, but the food we’re growing in next few months may not be to people’s taste

MD: Then we need some tasty recipes,no?

BND: Activating Recipe Share. 5 million contacted. Will result in many tasty options.

Final situation analysis is optimal.

PM: Wow,a global virus and meteor hit won't cause more than a little inconvenience?Looks like I’m getting re-elected. 

BND: No comment

Environment | How will your food system of 2050 adapt to climate change and remain resilient?

Our Vision has the fight against climate crisis ingrained.To achieve our goals we need to stop agricultural practices that destroy the environment & we have to empower consumers with the knowledge that their consumption choices have an impact on their environment. 

“Global food production threatens climate stability & ecosystem resilience.It constitutes the single largest driver of environmental degradation and transgression of planetary boundaries”-Prof. Johan Rockström PhD:EAT-Lancet Commission


Through our Expert Farmers Fellowship we will promote agility & adaptability as key components in the transformation of farms.We are looking to adjust how we interact with land & water through the programs.We plan to promote the best practices for Regenerative Agriculture;Sustainable Fishing; Conservation & Afforestation.In addition we will bring back traditional methods of land & water management & work to support innovation in areas like floating farms & salt-water agriculture. We believe that by both improving current practices & investing in innovations for future challenges we will have the tools needed to be ready for challenges brought on by climate crisis.Our goal is to minimize negative effects food production & food transport has had on the environment & go further by using proven systems & practices that repair & improve the environment. 

Indigenous Practice being considered:

  • Creation of floating farms which can rise up with floods and uses basics of hydroponics and water hyacinth plant 

  • Chauka (square in hindi),from Rajasthan, is a method for harvesting rainwater,used in arid areas that are subject to monsoon rains.The system consists of square shaped embankments where one side is left open to allow rainwater to fill the structure.As one structure fills,then the overflow fills the next chauka & so on. Retaining the rainwater in this way helps prevent soil erosion and recharges the surface water enabling various grasses to thrive and the groundwater.This in turn provides grazing areas for cow and goat herds.To maximize its effect, this practice is combined with the planting of grass seeds & trees.

  • 4 Part Water Management System: a)Anna Sagar - Waterbody for food Crops; b)Dev Sagar -1st back-up waterbody; c)Phool Sagar - Waterbody for cash crops, d)Pashu Sagar- Waterbody for animal fodder.
     

Our Vision is heavily designed around community interconnectedness. Regularly curated events & experiences to bring our main stakeholders together to build a deep understanding of the environmental challenges at hand. While we might never be able to mitigate ALL the potential threats to farming, we know that if we have a strong network that can support individuals or communities when disasters hit, we will be able to be resilient as a whole. Our Farm Plans also look to increase income and bring financial stability to marginal and small farm holders, again ensuring that when challenges come up, the farmers are not pushed to their breaking point by one or two poor seasons thus assuring that the farmers take care of the environment.


Examples of our Connection / Awareness Experiences:

  • Climate Crisis Game for marginal society kid: making environmental challenges part of everyday conversation

  • Farmer to Farmer Outreach: facilitating global networks to work on climate crisis challenges together

  • River of Flowers

    • Partnering with this non profit, social enterprise, to create 'rivers' of wildflowers and wild flowering trees in urban landscapes to feed, shelter, protect and heal bees and other pollinators. We plan to initiate a city wide awareness campaign with the goal of connecting series or urban farms, parks and homes to peri-urban farms and eventually to rural farms.We believe this could be a beautiful and inspiring campaign to raise awareness about biodiversity corridors and about the productive farms and gardens in and around the city especially with Aarey forest being the only forest in the world inside a city


Proximity is another key ingredient to ensuring strong connections between our communities. For this reason we are limiting our areas of engagement to within a 300km radius of the city. This minimized the negative impact of long distances in food transportation. Our food system also takes advantage of our water bodies, with a large percentage of our new food sources being able to send produce by boat, partnering with existing commuter boats, reducing farm to table transport to under 30km. (The water body traversed is 16km from port to port)

Diets | How will your food system of 2050 address malnutrition in all its forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, metabolic disease) for the people living there?

We see the next 30 years trending towards regenerative agriculture practices, resulting in better quality produce grown in better conditions. This means the overall nutritional density & safety of what’s available will increase drastically. We also presume diets will develop to be more health and planetary friendly with more diversity available, i.e. alternate sources of protein and native varieties of fruits & veg throughout different seasons. We also see it becoming only more affordable to eat better, and eat food that resolves or improves health conditions. 

Our partners Care Mother & Prana Healthcare Center have experienced overwhelming interest in preventative health care measures with the onset of COVID-19. Previously when suggesting diet changes to prevent health challenges they were met with the typical response of, “Aisa hone pur issasse nipatengey” (Lets deal with it when it happens). Now, both report increased interest in their work, with Prana Healthcare’s client list increase x10 in 2 months. We see this as an important sign that people are starting to connect their diet to their health; and it may finally be the time for preventative lifestyle changes to take hold. 


Our Vision has prioritised variety, seasonality and nutrient density to grow food that meets the actual nutritional needs of the population.Our farm researcher Madhuri, has started documenting yields of seasonal, indigenous varieties on Solitude and Annapurna Farms. The farms supply to the Cheshire Home for terminally ill patients, and produce approx. 80% of the nutritional need of the patients. Ensuring great quality food goes to those who need it. Madhuri’s research and experience there has helped in the development of our Farmacy Program. 


The Doctor Farmer Alliance connects the Agriculture Sector with the Public Health Sector; to make sure these departments are working together with the shared goal of eliminating food insecurity. Through detailed data collection we will map out the full scope of diet related illnesses in Mumbai, so we can better understand how to target malnutrition from the lense of access to better quality food. We plan to do a series of targeted awareness campaigns, working with health care providers, chefs, and other influencers to equip marginal community families with the know-how & skills to take care of themselves through their diet, creating a Recipe Share Program.


Nutrition Specific Agriculture Farm Plans are based on the actual nutritional needs of the population being served, we will develop farm plans to ensure that the local farms are actually growing what people need to be healthy. These plans will be demonstrated at our Teaching Centers, and supported by our Expert Farmer Programs. Excess produce generated on the farms will be preserved and processed into additional healthy food, such as dehydrated vegetable chips, energy bars and healthy ladoos; which will also be supplied to consumers along with fresh produce.

 

This way of approaching health and agriculture is best embodied by the traditional practice of Ritucharya. According to the NIH:  Ritu, the season, classified by different features expresses different effects on the body as well as the environment. Ayurveda has depicted various rules and regimens (Charya), regarding diet and behavior to acclimatize seasonal enforcement easily without altering body homeostasis. The prime principle of Ayurvedic system of medicine is preventive aspect, can be achieved by the change in diet and practices in response to change in climatic condition. This is a very important aspect of preventive medicine as mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. Lifestyle disorders are very common in the present era, basically originating from lack of following seasonal regimens due to lack of concentration in seasonal characteristics. 


Our Farmacy program’s mission is to promote Food as Medicine. 

Our pilot project, partnered with Care Mother, has identified 250 pregnant and nursing mothers from Mankhurd slum to be the first customers in our food system. The Doctor Farmer Alliance will develop the nutrition plans specific for the women’s health needs - specifically address anemia and malnutrition. Through ‘Prescriptions for Health” the women will receive the customized plans, along with Purpose-full produce boxes, and necessary coupons to ensure they can afford the same in their budget. 

Working with chefs and nutritionists we will create recipes, and feedback loops to ensure the women can easily make some dietary adjustments. We will also develop processed and preserved products that meet the nutritional needs of the customers

Economics | Where and what will the jobs be that support living wages in your future food system of 2050, and how will these jobs impact gender equality?

In our Food System we see new job opportunities emerging and some roles being phased out because they no longer serve a purpose or only result in under-employment. As part of the guiding principles of our vision we will work to facilitate participation from both genders. Currently in India, 85% of rural women are engaged in agriculture, yet only about 13% own land. Working with our current network of farmers we understand that existing barriers will need to be understood & worked through as our movement takes off. 


Our Expert Farmer Fellowship program to increase farmer income, improve farmer livelihood and social standing, develop and innovate indigenous and modern farming practices; and equip farmers with the tools to transition to regenerative agriculture practices. We will encourage all family members to participate in programs (men and women), and provide additional support to our female fellows.


Recognizing women in farming is crucial to ensure an equitable distribution of new employment opportunities while also building recognition for the prior and ongoing contribution of women into the system, as more than farmers’ wives which allows them to take legal action for land right infringement or for applying to govt schemes without biases. In some agriculture sectors women are disproportionately dominant, yet without acknowledgement, for example, 20 million women are engaged in animal husbandry as compared to 1.5 million men.


Current laws recognize farm landowners as farmers, leading to an inaccurate representation of the gender ratio in agriculture through the patriarchal system of inheritance. It is this same definition of a “farmer” that prevents many women farmers from availing the loans, subsidies and benefits they are rightfully entitled to. 


The Farm model developed by our team of farming practitioners shows a significant increase in annual earnings for our smallholder farmers (upto 3 acres) operating in our local loop system. This will impact farmer social standing, putting their monthly salaries in line with urban middle class wages. This is especially significant for our female farmers, who will be able to earn INR 35,000 per month/acre by their second year in the Fellowship. This will triple their monthly earnings. Our modular one acre financial models will not only make it easier for farmers to plan their annual budgets, but also facilitate farm entrepreneurship. We will also work to improve farm labour income, form unions to better understand their needs and support them.


Our food system will create the following new roles in the Agriculture Sector:

  • 1 Acre Farm Managers

  • Skilled / Specialized Farm Labor

  • Farm agri-preneurs

  • Volunteer Program Employees for Volunteer Training, Management and Support

  • Expert Farmer Fellowship Employees, with jobs in data collection, knowledge dissemination, curriculum development, community outreach, farmer training

  • Expert Farmer Consultants

  • Expert Farmer Knowledge Keeper and Storytellers

  • Recipe Exchange and Cooking Class Workshop hosts

  • Distribution/Packaging/Logistics Support

  • Purpose-full Food Processing Jobs

  • Emergent Food System players


While farming is dire for many, there are rays of hope. Our experience working on local and peri-urban farming projects connects us inspiring farmers.

From Ganesh Lokare, age 33, Farm Manager at THRIVE

“When I was small, 10 or 12 years, I would bunk my school and do farming work. My father, grandfather all are farmers. When I turned 18 I came to Bombay, my father said I would get more money doing city work. At 23 I decided I wanted to do farming work again, because my education is not high, I was not getting better job in city. Farming work I know everything and I like to do it. I decided I will do farmer work in the city. Now, at 32, I am feeling so happy. We are doing so much work and I learned so much other things: organic farming and marketing. I am in charge of Table Farm and Good Karma Farm in Alibaug, and in the city so many small garden projects for good restaurants, like Americano, O Pedro... And I also get to do my village work; I guide my younger brothers on how to do better farming, now we also do chicken and fish farming, and I invest some of my money back in the village. 

I know about things like how to make a proper well, because my grandfather taught me, and I saw our families wells being built. I have that experience, and I feel better and good when I can help people. Before nobody asked me about my knowledge. Now I am working with famous big people and they want to learn from me. It is funny.

During COVID lockdown I was sending goods from our farm to Virat Kohli, because he did not have any vegetables. 

In Farming everything is possible.”

https://ruralindiaonline.org/library/resource/the-women-farmers-entitlements-bill-2011/

Culture | How will your 2050 food system ensure that the cultural, spiritual and community traditions and/or practices in your Place flourish?

“Farmers are the least empowered business men and women in India, they are slaves” - Shekhar Gupta, Editor-In-Chief, THEPRINT - May 2020. 


With upto 80% of India’s population earning its living through agriculture, farming is an intrinsic part of the Indian identity. However, presently farming is not a desirable profession, in fact it is arguably one of the least desirable ones. “Farmer” and “poor” have become synonymous, and in already struggling farming districts, farmer suicides continue to rise. This is part of our culture that must change. 


We are reimagining what it is to be an Indian marginal or smallholder farmer. Our goal is to dramatically increase the farmers’ autonomy, social status and role in society, ability to earn a good living, and sense of purpose. Our approach looks to develop the farmers’ skills and capabilities by first building upon their existing knowledge, traditions and promoting indigenous practices. It is important farmers believe in themselves, and trust in their intuition and practices that have gotten them to this point. At the same time it is important to be able to identify what is not working, where intervention and ingenuity is needed. Some of that will come by connecting them to the best existing farm inputs (info, equipment, nutrients, technology, seeds, etc), and some will come by fostering a culture of innovation and invention of new practices. 


In our future the farmer is valued and is an integral, essential and skilled member of the community. When times are good the farmer is connected to city residents as an equal, earning and living a life comparably to middle class metrics. The farmer is not removed or isolated from the culture, technology, innovations and ideas of the city. When times are tough, the farmer is supported by the community, their work is respected, and there are enough support systems to ensure that the farmer is not devastated by a bad harvest or unforeseeable event. A majority of farmers are doing this work solely for their daily subsistence, and do not wish or encourage their children to take up the profession.  


We need to build food systems that recognize the importance of the farmer and engineer an ecosystem that creates more Farmers by Choice.

“I am a farmer by choice, because I have a comfortable buffer, I see the value I get from the work, and I get to experience the joy of feeding people, those I love and strangers. Now, during the lockdown, I receive messages from every single one of my customers, expressing gratitude for the work we do at Vrindavan Farm” Gaytri Bhatia, Environmental Analyst + First Generation Farmer. 

Our strategy is to bring more social capital to the role of the farmer and other ag sector jobs & reconnect rural, peri-urban & urban populations with a shared mission. We also ask the following questions, as there do have to be some cultural shifts from the status quo. 

-Can we make farming an aspirational and inspirational way of life?


The Doctor Farmer Alliance is a program that connects farmers to doctors, nutritionists, health care providers and ayurvedic practitioners. The program aims to: 1. Improve the impact of the food grown by the Expert Farmers and consumed by the at risk populations; 2. Bring social capital to the role of the farmer. Our network of mostly volunteer experts come together to process data collected by the Farmacy Program and develop our Nutrition Specific Agriculture Plans for farmers and Purpose-full produce boxes for consumers. The Expert Farmers hold a wealth of knowledge about indigenous, and forgotten foods, that can be incorporated into the programs.Highlighting the farmer’s role in nourishing society and improving the health of the planet will revolutionize how the Indian farmer is viewed and perceives herself. She is the changemaker we’ve been waiting for, and she plays an important role in our future, working with doctors, as a fellow expert.


"The reality is that loneliness is a natural signal that our body gives us, similar to hunger, thirst. And that's how important human connection is.” Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General tells NPR: May 11, 2020


Our Volunteer Program is a critical component that will bring us all together and the biggest reason everyone is not already volunteering is because farmers currently don’t have the bandwidth to mobilise, and manage unskilled volunteers. Our Community Connect activities mobilize consumers and other city residents who are interested in supporting their farmers. A growing population of urban dwellers are interested in learning about farming & we plan to empower tribal and marginalized farmers to become the teachers and keepers of the wisdom that is now so wildly being sought after.


Mental health awareness, healthy lifestyle workshops and community check-in are other key components of our Vision to continue to reconnect farmers to society, end their isolation, build support systems and show them the respect and consideration they deserve.



Technology | What technological advances are needed to transform your food system into one that meets your goals and embodies the values of your Vision in 2050?

Core Drivers of the Problems:

Today we have sophisticated tech for agriculture that improves profitability, efficiency, safety, nutrient density, and can lead to farming having a positive environmental impact. These include: robots for farm labor; temperature and moisture sensors, satellite imaging and data analysis, weather forecasts and GPS technology. However, availability of technology is not equally distributed. Marginal farmers do not get access to equipment and technology while they have to adapt to be climate resilient, while non-marginal farmers do and continue to advance, widening inequalities. 


Strategy:

First and foremost we need to improve accessibility to relevant tech to our small and marginal farmers. 


Basic Tech needed immediately: 

  • Water Management and Irrigation

  • Energy/Power Supply

  • Satellite Data and Analysis


Innovations in Farming Practices for

  • Sea level rise

  • Saline water 

  • Soil rehabilitation

  • Ideas we have not thought of yet… i.e. Floating Farms


Communication and infrastructure support:

  • Crop and Employee Management

  • Communication amongst Food System stakeholders

  • Demand and Supply mapping mechanisms to decrease wastage & offset risk of farmers from market price fluctuations or unsure sales eg: e-NAM portal for uploading production forl B2B and exports of collective surplus


Post-harvest infrastructure

  • Cheap standalone freezing units made of shipping containers to increase shelf life by 2 days for fresh produce

  • Shared economy models of trucks for transportation of goods from collection and distribution centres 

  • Raw Processing and value added services nearer to farmers

  • Packaging , ripening and storage of harvest 


Indigenous Methodologies to be resurrected and adapted based on need

E-Governance

When attempting to resolve the forecasted and expected problems of the agro-industry in 2050, a system’s thinking approach encourages us to adopt macro-level perspectives, which in turn enable us to consider the agro-industry as a subsystem, operating within multiple other larger systems. The cumulative sum of larger systems entails a holistic vision, that details the structure of the Indian society that we consider necessary to support our Food Vision for 2050. As such, this paper briefly explains the ideal structure of a society operating in 2050, that would enable the overhaul of the current agro-industry to the desired state. We believe that an overhaul of the agro-industry will require, among other things, a reversal of the top-down approach of policymaking that is prevalent in the current systems of governance. While the administrative and logistical support of a central, stable authority will be necessary, we believe that considerable decision-making power and economic resource allocation will need to be disaggregated to enable bottom-up approaches to policy making. As such, we propagate the concept of a ‘micro-democracy’, where individual constituencies 

1 (or smaller administrative units, if considered necessary) operate with greater independence that the current norms. Taking into account the current and expected advancements made in the field of technology and data analytics, we propose a radical system of e-governance. Essentially, e-governance would require the formalization and institutionalization of current trends already seen in India, such as a fast-growing rate of internet penetration and policy decisions such as Digital India 

2.We envision the creation of unique online platforms associated with each constituency, that enable greater and more efficient flows of information between the government and people. Unique identifiers such as Aadhar 

3. or Voter Identification and technological solutions such as geo-blocking would be utilized to ensure unique accounts for each citizens, belong to the relevant constituencies, in said platforms,thereby allowing us to replicate the process of electoral voting on an online platform designed to enable discussion and free flow of information between citizens of each constituency. Such a platform would enable the constituency-level government units to immediately avail the perception of potential micro-level policies among its citizens, engage in public discussion and feedback, and thereby alter policies to address the genuine issues and recommendations placed by all segments of society in an efficient and transparent manner. As such, a system that enables a true bottom up approach, combined with a systems-thinking perspective, would be formed, with decision making decentralized largely to constituency-level administrative units, which in turn use the online platforms to facilitate discussions and public comments from its constituency members, and ensure consequent allocation of resources in a fair and transparent manner.

Policy | What types of policies are needed to enable your future food system?

Brown New Deal is a think tank charged with analysing and improving upon our framework for building Purpose-full local loop food systems leading to global adoption.The Purpose-full Food system is built to be replicated and scaled effortlessly through government systems. We have understood the gaps in existing government programs, and we are building improved versions, to test out other ways of approaching the immense challenges of the Agriculture sector.   


The Exemplar Farm Hub in our system is our rendition of the Government Ag Centers that exist in every locality. Once our Hub is proven to be delivering results we will lobby for it to become the model for Govt Ag Centers. 


The Farmacy in our model is our rendition of what the Public Distribution System(PDS) looks like. Currently the PDS system does not provide a balanced diet to the at risk population. It was designed to meet caloric needs above nutritional needs. It also relied heavily on shelf stable goods such as rice, wheat flour and sugar, and products would be transported slowly and kept on shop shelves for unpredictable amounts of time. Once Farmacy is proven to be more effective in reducing food insecurity, then we would lobby for our model to be adopted to run parallelly to the PDS system.  


Another big area where policy change is important is around land usage. A city can be food secure only if it has sufficient land around it that can be used for cultivation. As the city grows bigger the cost of land makes it un-viable for farming unless the cost of food goes up, an alarming amount, which would be devastating to already at risk populations. Hence it is important for the government to earmark sufficient space around the city that needs to be cultivated to ensure the city is resilient during crisis. We are exploring models of Agrarian Urbanism to be trialed in our food system. 


As we look to encourage more agripreneurs, we envision our Expert Farmers to take up more land for cultivation. At present in India, and specifically Maharashtra there laws that make it complicated for a landowner to lease or give over their land to a farmer to farm. These laws exist to protect marginalised communities, however now, with so much land owned by wealth city residents, the laws need amending. City residents would be happy to rent or donate their land to farming initiatives such as ours, however, doing so they risk losing their land to the farmers. Instead of taking this risk, they would rather their land sit fallow.


We would like to think that in 2050 there would not be a need for gender-targeted policies for equal participation, that it is an inherent reality part of a just society. To facilitate this, a bill similar to Women Farmers’ Entitlement Bill 2011 (M Swaminathan) is a necessity. Through this formal and legal recognition of female participation in agriculture, our vision seeks to give equal rights and importance to farmers, labourers, healthcare professionals of all genders. 


Immediate Policy Initiatives to Support our Food Vision:
- Promotion of Biofortified Native Crops and Seeds  

- Facilitating access to soil and food testing - these services need to be streamlined, possibly by encouraging more private sector players, but it is essential to provide easier access to small producers. From establishing a baseline to quality control once farmers transition to regenerative practices - it is crucial for farmers to be able to identify contaminants and presence of harmful chemical residues. 

- Innovation in the food packaging and transport industries -  We policies to make it easier for small farmers to safely pack and transport their produce. Most wastage in India happens at the farm level, followed by wastage/spoilage during transport. Incentives and support to innovations in this area will directly benefit.
2.https://ruralindiaonline.org/library/resource/the-women-farmers-entitlements-bill-2011/

Describe how these 6 Themes connect with and influence one another in your food system.

While all themes interconnect to form our food system in its entirety, stronger linkages and bonds are emerging, creating partner themes. 


We see Nutrition Based Agriculture as a powerful tool to both improve health and protect the environment. Through our Doctor Farmer Alliance, all farm and nutrition plans rely on interdependence between Diet & Environment. If a crop can not be grown in our climate or in an environmentally sensitive way, then it will not be included on the customers nutrition plan. Similarly, if there are food items that are essential for the health of the population, the farmer is trained on how best to grow crops that she may be unfamiliar with. 

Another obvious linkage is that produce grown in high quality soil and biodiverse conditions, using regenerative ag methods that are better for the planet, yields more nutrient dense, higher quality produce, which is better for us.  

 

Economics & Culture unite in our mission to improve farmer livelihood. We believe this is the most significant way to preserve and nurture our traditional agricultural and food practices and stay proud of our identity as a ‘Nation of Farmers’. We are working to bring value back to the farming profession, and believe farmers should earn at least equal to middle class urban salaries.


Our local loop food system can operate simply and effectively in today's current tech and political climate. However, if Technology and Politics come together to support the scaling of our Vision we believe the World can change for the better at rapid speed. We need policies that encourage tech solutions for smallholder farms; and make it easier to map and track data and build producer consumer connections. We also need a political will to support the development of more environmentally friendly and efficient transport methods. If we had access to high speed rail or large clean energy trucks; we could feed more people with less negative impact on the planet. 



Describe any trade-offs you may have to make within your system to attain your Vision by 2050.

Our Vision aims to connect peri-urban marginal and small holder farmers with at risk urban populations. A key element in our Vision is fostering community between these two disparate groups. Ensuring they can interact on a regular basis (a few times a year), is an important step to bridging cultural gaps, establishing trust and connection. 

Initially we hoped to achieve our Vision by working in peri-urban areas only. We defined peri-urban as the area within a 300km radius of Mumbai. This limit was determined based on two assumptions. 1. That this was the maximum distance we could expect busy city residents and farmers to travel for our Community Connect events. 2. Based on our lead applicants' experience running a farmers market and working with farmers from all over the state of Maharashtra to bring produce into the city. The cost efficiencies of delivery are best when the distance trucks have to travel is under 300 km. Low tech (non AC-ed) transportation still works fine for produce travelling this distance. 

Additionally, a primary objective of ours is to reduce the negative impact food systems have on the environment, many of which come from food transportation. Reducing the km traveled is better for minimizing climate impact. 

After doing our calculations, it appears that we can achieve 25% of our goal of developing peri-urban farms given the amount of arable land within the 300km radius. This is incredibly exciting for us, and gives us more reason to push for policy to secure rings of green around the city. However, it means that after we achieve 25% land conversion (and feed up to 2.25 million people regularly) we will need to redefine our peri-urban parameters, most likely extending to 500km. This will bring new challenges. 

We need to further investigate how rural and urban farmers can play key roles in our food system. We are also assuming that more eco-friendly transport methods will evolve in this time, but if not, we will have to take these new conditions into our decision making.

3 Years | Describe 3 key milestones that you would need to achieve within the next three years for your Vision to be on track?

To solve the problem in its full scale , we need to first prove that a purpose driven, local food system will be able to eliminate nutritional deficiencies in a community, improve farmer livelihood and improve the environment.


In 3 years we would be able to set up a fully functional Local Loop for one at-risk community as part of our Pilot Project. We will convert approximately 25 acres of land, with 20 farmers, and supply nutrient-rich fresh produce and food products to 500 Pregnant & nursing women in Dharavi. Through this closed loop model we will be able to eliminate nutritional deficiencies amongst the beneficiaries, specifically reversing anemia and stunting in their small children. We will also double farmer income, increase farmer quality of life and social standing and hundreds of new farmers will want to join the Expert Farmer Fellowship. 


Health

90% of the at risk population is consuming food that meets all their nutrition needs

90% of the at risk population is not suffering from any disease related to undernutrition

90% of the at risk population is not suffering from any disease related to unsafe food


Economic

90% of the at risk population is able to purchase their daily nutritional need using their food budget

90% of the farmers are earning an annual income of 3.6hs per acre


These achievements are exciting from a social, environmental and public health perspective as they resolve major challenges that have faced these demographics for decades. All this sets up the program to go viral.


Our Key Milestones in the first 3 years are:


  1. The number of Farmers completing the Expert Farmer Fellowship is doubling each year. (20 to 40 to 60)

  2. Volunteers recruited, trained and mobilized is doubling each year (50 to 100 to 200)

  3. Prove that all this can be done in our projected budget of $4 million

10 Years | What progress will you need to make—by 2030—that would set your Vision up to become a reality by 2050?

10 year goal is to prove the scalability of the model. It will involve scaling of the purpose-full, local loop food system throughout the city,supporting state govt in policy change to implement the programs to meet the nutritional needs of the city’s 9 million at risk population. In 10 years we would have converted a majority of the arable land within a 300km radius of Mumbai, over 1 lakh acres, & will be looking for policy shifts to expand by another 100kms.

By 2030 each of our 18,000 local loops would be delivering the following impact

Health

90% of the at risk population is consuming food that meets all their nutrition needs

90% of the at risk population is not suffering from any disease related to undernutrition

90% of the at risk population is not suffering from any disease related to unsafe food

90% of the at risk population is not suffering from any disease related to unhealthy dietary practices

Economic

90% of the at risk population is able to purchase their daily nutritional need using their food budget

90% of the farmers are earning an annual income of 3.6hs per acre

90% of the farmers have sufficient buffers and support to sustain 2 seasons of crop failure


Environmental

90% of the farms are not using any chemical pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides, fungicides

90% of protein sources are coming from sustainable methods 

50% of farms are not dependant on tanker water or borewells 

25% of the At risk population’s diet is sourced from within a 300 km radius (drastically reducing food miles)

50% increase in the Green Cover


Cultural 

75% farmers identify as farmers by choice 

90% of the farmers feel valued by urban stakeholders (Doctors, consumers, chefs)

Farmer suicides reduced to Zero


Resilience

90% at risk population having access to nutritious food in crisis

Farms producing 25% surplus each season

50% surplus is preserved for times of crisis 

Once scalability within city is proven, we move to multi city in the next decade.

If awarded the $200,000 prize what would you do with it?

Working to achieve our Vision involves the successful implementation of our first local, community Farm System, proving our concept and setting our Vision up to scale. Our 3-year budget for phase 1 is $4 million. Our main areas of focus in phase 1 are: farmer outreach and farm conversion; fundraising, and establishing our volunteer program


We already have: 

  • Core Vision Team;

  • NGO partner and beneficiaries for the Pilot Project secured; 

  • Exemplar Farm Hub in Alibaug, Maharashtra is funded and under development (approx. 60% complete)


We plan to use this prize for our Expert Farmer Fellowship.

$200,000 will let us:

  • Design and run our awareness and recruitment campaign to 500 farmers

  • Collaboratively develop the first Expert Farmer Curriculum

  • Launch the Expert Farmer Fellowship with 20 farmers

  • Provide operational support, training and volunteer placement to all Farm Fellows in their 18 months in the program

  • Give Farm Transitioning Grants to at least 10 farmers


This prize allows Farmer Fellows to supply to our Pilot Project, nourishing 500 beneficiaries. The success of the farm conversions will enable us to expand our outreach to another 500 farmers, and continue fundraising to expand the Fellowship and Pilot Project. To achieve this we will get International Funding, Government Grants, Investment and in-kind support from private sector partners, and local fundraising, revenue from the CSA and other product sales.


By the end of phase 1 our Vision will be increasing Farmer Fellows; Exemplar Farm Hubs; Volunteers and Beneficiaries impacted exponentially. This Prize is a key to making it possible, as it provides very necessary capital support at this early stage. The Expert Farmer Fellowship it will enable is the foundation of our Vision, and once established it can lead to the conversion of 600,000 acres of land over the next 20 years, which would change the lives of thousands of farmers and resolve the nutritional needs of 9,000,000 at-risk city residents.



If you are chosen as a Top Visionary, The Rockefeller Foundation would like to share your Vision widely with a global audience. What would you like the world to learn from your Vision for 2050?

Our vision gives priority to the marginal sectors. We worked on equitable,sovereign,respectable,trustful food futures for those who are NOT going to be able to take care of themselves if things remain how they are. We would like the World to know that while we see a food future made up of little local loops, we believe our Vision is big and world changing. 

The World should know that during the pandemic our labour forces were scared, like everyone else. They did not go to work on the fields. Farmers couldn’t sow the summer crop & let unplucked veg rot on the fields knowingly. The number of suicides reached 5 a day from each district (from 1 per month,10 years ago). This is unacceptable. We are committed to our Vision, and we want the World to know that we are looking for partners to make the changes we so desperately need happen. 

Our farmers, like many the World over, have gone through immeasurable hardships. As we speak, the devastating locust attack means that farmers enter a new season with less than half the money they thought they would, with upfront  debt, the farmer has not been able to buy new shoes for his wife, who works equally hard if not harder, while the heat on the fields is getting more unbearable for her feet each season. Their children see this everyday & they need things to change, NOW. They need our movement guided by love, to build an Indian Indigenous agriCULTURE we can all be proud of

Please share a visual that communicates the structure and operation of your food system in 2050. Describe the visual.

Walk through our food system here:

Feel free to interact with the elements 

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Spam
Photo of Disha A Ravi
Team

This sounds like exactly what we need! How can we collaborate?

Spam
Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hey Shubham Karchaudhuri  we're about to reach the Refinement phase submission deadline in less than an hour. Make sure you've update all your application question responses in the submission. Also ensure your submission is "Published". Feel free to tag me in here or email us at foodsystemvisionprize@ideo.com incase you face any technical issues with the submission.

Wish you all the best

Spam
Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Shubham Karchaudhuri congratulations on putting together such a multiphase approach drafting a Vision that speaks about the need of reinventing the very fabric of society. During refinement, how might you detail out your Vision to speak about the uniqueness and feasibility of some of your key ideas, considering a number of initiative have been doing rounds of bridging the farmer to consumer gap?

Spam
Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Dear Shubham Karchaudhuri  , Congratulations on being shortlisted as a Semi-Finalist. Welcome to Refinement!

Through refinement, we'd like to see the details in the broad strokes of the Vision you painted for your region.
How might you bring your Vision into sharper focus through:
1. Building partnerships and forming a systemic and multi-disciplinary Vision Team
2. Visualising your future food system to help people see and feel the future of their food system
3. Assessing the feasibility of your future food system to better anticipate its needs and challenges

We invite you to take full advantage of the open platform here – to tag in team members into your Vision, connect with other Refinement teams, and solicit feedback from participants around the world.

It’s great to continue with you into this next phase. Consider me your support for questions you might have while on this platform.

Looking forward to seeing a detailed and Refined Vision for your region in the coming weeks.

Spam
Photo of Jun Suto
Team

@Shubham Karchaudhuri  Liked how you put the end state @ High Level Vision! Love to have you help me see and envision the lives of people in that world in 2050 a bit more!

Spam
Photo of Ekaterina Egorova
Team

Hi Shubham Karchaudhuri 

Welcome to the Food Vision Prize community!

For the last hours before the deadline, make sure you have reviewed your final submission through the Pocket Guide to support you through the final hours of wrapping up your submission. This will give you the most important bullet points to keep in mind to successfully submit your Vision.
Here is the link to the pocket guide: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o8WGMus6-V8GywWdlNwmCpk7I1fMVzcQ/view