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Let’s Go Naturally All !: Natural Indigenous Protective Food crops and Whole grain Vision in 2050

Better integrates natural under-consumed indigenous protective food crops & whole grain on every farm, market and in every kitchen.

Photo of Vicent ST

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Local Socio-Economic Data Ltd

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.

Our Vision will be implemented by Local socio-Economic Data Ltd. Local socio-Economic Data Ltd has been working on agricultural rural livelihood development in Tanzania. Key stakeholders for implementation include: the Tenguru Horticulture research Institute, Seliani Agriculture research Institute, District Agricultures department in Manyara region and World vegetable center-Arusha Tanzania. We seek to address the dominance of “Big five staples” maize, rice, wheat, and others in the food system which gets more resources, 80% of the subsidies and research contribute to very cheap calories high carbohydrate and health problems such as vitamin deficiency, obesity diabetes, and heart disease. We empower farmers with new-generation movement “Let’s Go Naturally All” with a concrete vision “Natural indigenous food crops and whole grain” to promote happier, longer and more healthy prosperous life.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

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

  • 1-3 years

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


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


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

Manyara Region in Tanzania

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

By 2050 I will be 63 years old, a grandfather if I will get the chance to survive long. I just imagine myself what kind of food should I eat at that time? How about my neighbors, grandchildren will still use the current food system in 2050? I passionate about growing indigenous protective food crops naturally. Originally I got to know this community place through some work with other professional candidates to run women micro-finance groups in agriculture and since I have the passion on natural food, I saw the challenge topic of “community food system problems” and thinking it is a perfect opportunity to apply my learning’s with this community to help to have a vision of their food system in 2050. Until today, this community did not have a unifying vision on how they could address food system challenges and create a better community. The government and community realized they lacked direction and a vision for long-term food system development. The idea of formulating a food vision emerged. The food system problems of this community remember me to share my personal stories from my childhood for inspiration. When I was young in the 1990s, I was a consumer of a popular staple food called Ugali. Ugali is a traditional Tanzanian dish made of white maize, Ugali was labeled as to a source of energy for a man and you can do any tough work after you eat. Many farmers have been planting only hybrid maize as it promises them higher profits. But how come this community with plenty of fertile lands, large rivers of freshwater, vivid flora and fauna, its inhabitants still suffer from malnutrition. In fact, we know later after many years these types of high carbohydrates food are actually not good for children and are the sources of high dietary diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Finally, at the end of the day, we have the food system that is focused on profit and productivity alone rather than healthy calories.

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 CLIMATE AND TOPOGRAPHY: Manyara is one of Tanzania’s 31 administrative regions lies in the north-eastern of Mainland Tanzania, between latitudes 3⁰40’ and 6⁰ South of the Equator and longitudes 33⁰ and 38⁰ east of the Greenwich Meridian. Manyara receives an average rainfall of between 450 mm and 1,200mm per year, with two rainy seasons. THE FEEL OF THE PLACE: Gender roles are very well defined and fit traditional norms: women and female children take care of the home and food preparation. The male members are responsible for the financial decisions related to the management of the family. THE FOOD PEOPLE EAT: Eating is not just a way to gain sustenance but a social activity. Breakfast is a light meal consisting of bread, or Uji (a sweet porridge) and chai escorted with eggs, bread or leftover food of the previous night. Lunch and dinner are typically Ugali, a type of cornmeal porridge is the major staple. Families eat together, seated on mats on the floor. In some ethnic groups, males and females eat separately. THE URBAN/RURAL BREAKDOWN: The life in the urban is markedly different from life in rural areas. In the big Town, globalization has meant that the way of life is a hybrid of what is Western and what the Manyara community. THE EFFECT OF DIETS ON THE HEALTH OF THE POPULATION: Although Manyara is rich in biodiversity, in recent years there the dietary shift to nutrient-poor, processed imported foods, neglecting local traditional food, has contributed to these health problems such as vitamin deficiency, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. HOPES OF THE PEOPLE: Community members hope to change their serious health risks faced and how they could improve their health by changing their diets. THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURE, FARMING AND AQUACULTURE, AND DOMINANT CROPS: Agricultural production primarily depends on rain-fed crops, and the area experiences high crop yields when rainfall is good. The majority of farmers in the area rely on agriculture as their main source of income; producing large quantities of maize, sorghum, beans, pigeon peas, and sunflower crops.  THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS, CULTURAL TRADITIONS, LANGUAGE, AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY: The main indigenous ethnic groups in Manyara Region are the Iraqw, the Maasai, the Barbaig, the Mbugwe, the Rangi and the Gorowa, each of which constitutes distinctive ethnic and unique social-cultural ways of living. For visitors, greetings of “Jambo” (“Hello” in Swahili) followed by a handshake are the preferred form of address. Only the right hand is to be extended in greetings. The left hand is to be used for ablution and is therefore considered “unclean” and not to be used for eating or greeting. THE UNIQUE CULTURAL TRENDS: It is customary among the ethnic tribe to restrict the amount of food pregnant women eat in order to control the baby’s weight, a practice that is intended to promote a safe and uncomplicated delivery but leads many infants to start their lives undernourished.

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


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


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

BACKGROUND: Agriculture in the Manyara region constitutes over 90% of the local economy. Maize dominated the production of cereal crops, 95% of the household growing maize. Our food is less diverse 75% come from major plants including maize, rice, millet, wheat and from livestock including cows, goat, chicken, and pig. FOOD SYSTEM ANALYSIS: We present performance analysis Manyara region food system, with respect to “six themes”: Culture, Economics, Environments, policy, Diet and Technology. What emerges from the ‘food systems approach’ applied by our Team, the six themes are strictly interrelated and clearly linked to offer a perspective of the whole food system, with its drivers and outcomes. (1) ENVIRONMENT: Our food system is based on five big staples deteriorating environments and neglect Natural indigenous protective food crops and whole grain, agriculture account for 70% of all freshwater use; takes up roughly 50% of the planet’s vegetated land; and is responsible for nearly 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. (2) DIET: Our staple food crops are worsening our diet system and raised diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases are caused by dietary factors. We cause more deaths due to our food system and what we eat. (3) POLICY: Manyara food systems people only think maize, and rice is only sourced food. It was deliberate government policy, at that time both colonial and post-colonial independence to introduce these crops are number one in the country until now 80 % subsidies, research, and development to “Big staples food”-the main contributor to cheap calories. (4) ECONOMICS: “Big staples food” are dominant, natural indigenous protective food crops and whole-grain smallholder farmers lack efficient organization, information about market demand, lack of access to market infrastructure. (5) CULTURE: Promotion of hybrid maize seeds & use chemicals leads to loose natural indigenous protective foods crops and whole-grain values, norms and traditions for future generations. (6) TECHNOLOGY: There is no innovation in regenerative indigenous protective food crops and whole-grain farming, poor water harvest technologies farmers depend on irrigation and boreholes. There is no use of Data, Food loss and waste are high. FOOD SYSTEM DRIVERS: The number of drivers favors the increased production of indigenous protective food crops and whole-grain:(A) The demand is increasing, due to their nutritional value. (B) They maximize the return on investment, they required less water. FOOD SYSTEM OUTCOMES: Our food system vision is like chicken and Egg phenomena, we can’t separate it; we cannot solve the problem of the environment alone without looking culture, economics, policy, technology, and Diet in the entire food system. Significantly, our analysis results show the weaknesses in terms of the six themes are currently poorly sustainable and reinforce one another, making the threats interconnected and eventually jeopardizing the whole of the food system.

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

Our Vision in 2050 represents an ambitious plan to raise the people of Manyara out of the food system problems and transform the Manyara community into a “developed high-value natural, indigenous protective food crops and whole-grain system”. Some will say that this is too ambitious and that we are not being realistic when we set this goal. Others say that it is a dream. But, what choice does Manyara have? To remain in the current situation is simply unacceptable for the Manyara people. Therefore, there is a need to devise and implement policies as well as mobilize resources to bring about the necessary transformation to achieve the Vision. This is realistic based on the fact that other communities with similar unfavorable food systems have succeeded this proves that our dream could be a reality. By 2050, in the Manyara food system, we should be shifting our diet, economics, policy innovation, supportive technologies, diets, culture and environment sustainability toward natural indigenous protective food crops and whole grain. How do we get there? Our vision provides a package of preliminary ‘pathways’ to address such bottlenecks and system bias against natural indigenous protective food crops and whole grains: (1) POLICY; Revised subsidies for the distribution of natural indigenous protective food crops and whole grains seeds and technical assistance for smallholders. (2) ENVIRONMENT: The production system should be strengthened through better extension services promoting good production regenerative farming practices (GRF) public investment in storage and aggregation centers specifically for natural indigenous protective food crops and whole grains. (3) TECHNOLOGY: By 2050 to improve the processing system for natural indigenous protective food crops and whole grains, grouped in solutions that promote better research, regulatory framework, technologies, and governance arrangements. (4) ECONOMICS: Establish the public procurement for a bulk purchase of Natural indigenous protective food crops;  The distribution and consumption systems of natural indigenous protective food crops and whole grains should be improved through market innovation (5) DIET: Stop the shortcuts solution: Fortifying foods can save lives, but as a shortcut for the masses, it is a bad deal. By 2050 we should have the food system that produces foods naturally rich in the vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy (6) CULTURE: Establishing a multi-dimensional sustainability label for natural indigenous protective food crops and whole grains indicating production practices, origin, food safety, nutritional value, and environmental impacts, to overcome consumers’ trust issues. This will help them to promote our culture. Finally, a crosscutting pathway is a multi-stakeholder platform to regularly bring together all relevant actors to share information, discuss improvements, build trust, facilitate compromises, coordinate action and monitor development impact.

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.

By 2050 our food system should really optimize to produce both health calories and productivity. Our community will enhance this complex challenge interconnected themes to achieve calories that actually improve human health: (1) ENVIRONMENT: By 2050 food system helps us protect the environment through the reduction of waste, climate change mitigation, negligible ‘food miles’, soil benefits and biodiversity, among others. Agriculture should solve the problem of global warming, greenhouse gases and should not be the number one contributor. (2) BALANCED DIET: Consuming indigenous protective foods provides protection against many nutritionally-related diseases including diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, vitamin A deficiency, and anemia. (3) ECONOMICS: By purchasing local foods the money stays in the country and supports the grower’s family and the national economy. By growing local foods people are less reliant on the cash economy for survival and can obtain nutrient-rich sustenance with very little input. The surplus can also be sold or preserved, with opportunities for entrepreneurial food processing initiatives existing. (4) CULTURE: Food is a basic part of our culture. When we promote our island foods, we are also promoting the traditional way of life and farming system, traditional knowledge and cultural beliefs surrounding food are preserved for future generations. (5)POLICY: By 2050 our policy should support sufficient nutrient-rich food locally available and accessible and the resilience to the possibility of disruption or unavailability of the food supply. Talk to the family, community, and workplace about having a local food policy. (6)TECHNOLOGY: By 2050 our Local foods are easy to grow and maintain with minimal inputs.CONCLUSION: This has many benefits for environmental sustainability, for ourselves through the freshness and local varieties of products, the health of our community, culture and the local economy.

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

INTRODUCTION: Food is a ‘social relationship builder.’ Food connects us to our cultures, the stories of our families, the recipes of our grand families and brings us together as family, friends, and strangers. THE TREND OF FOOD SYSTEM BIAS: The indigenous protective food and whole grain have complex problems: (A) Agricultural markets often favor uniform varieties of a few high-yielding staple crops such as maize or rice (B) Indigenous protective food crops and whole-grain carry the stigma of “food for the poor” for a large part of the middle class and the youth. CLIMATIC TRENDS: Climate variability and long-term changes will also impact the future growth of agriculture. Average temperatures will likely rise by at least  1 ºC by 2050, which will impact food staple crops that are particularly sensitive to temperatures, such as maize and rice. BACKGROUND OF THE VISION: Until today, The Manyara region did not have a unifying vision for how food could help address food system challenges and create a better community. The government and community realized they lacked direction and a vision for long-term food system development. The idea of formulating a food vision emerged. VISION DEVELOPMENT AND USER'S FEEDBACK:  Let’s go naturally all! This means the inclusiveness, togetherness, and involvement of the local community. Our solution is not about to assist communities to implement the vision, it is about the community engagement process includes farmers, processors, distributors, food experts, traders, restaurants, farmers organizations, government agencies, and Local community members. The stakeholders were asked to consider their needs for today, but also their dreams for the year 2050. One mother feedback: “Food creates a social relationship between generation and Neighbors by optimizing everything Balance diet, culture, policy innovation, economics, supportive technologies, and environment.” A farmer said: “Food must meet the needs of people, profit and environment over time” Youth representative said: Good food promotes health and  basic need for food people to thrive.” 95% of the stakeholders said yes to the vision:-“better integrates Natural under-consumed indigenous protective food crops & whole grain on every farm, market and in every kitchen” is an excellent vision for the Manyara region food system. MAJOR OBJECTIVES OF NATURAL INDIGENOUS PROTECTIVE FOOD CROPS AND WHOLE GRAIN VISION 2050: A baby who born in Manyara today (2019) will be fully grown up, joined the farming working for population and be a parent by the year 2050. What kind of food system will have been created in 2050? How can they construct inclusive food systems? What are the transformations needed to emerge from a deeply unsatisfactory food system? The answer is “let’s go naturally all to 2050” another Question raised: Why should we go naturally all to 2050?  Because naturally grown indigenous protective food crops and whole grown have many Benefits: Culture, Economics, Environments, policy, Diet and Technology. It is envisioned that Manyara families will have graduated from a “food system problems community” into a “developed high-value natural, indigenous protective food crops and whole-grain system” by the year 2050. A solid foundation for a competitive and dynamic natural, indigenous protective food crops and whole-grain system with high sustainability will have been laid. Consistent with this vision, Manyara region of 2050 should be a community imbued with six interconnected main themes with its synergy and trade-off:

(1) ECONOMICS: (A) SYNERGY: By the year 2050, the production techniques should be farmer centered means must be equitable, free from inequalities, lead to new market opportunities, and diversified local economy with higher household incomes to broad livelihood improvements. (B) TRADE-OFF: The trade-off will be success of many farmers in increasing production could also lead to an oversupply of indigenous vegetables and the subsequent fall of their prices. (2) CULTURE: (A) SYNERGY: Food is physical, civilization, cultural and spiritual things. By 2050 Food should be means of retaining their cultural identity, cooperation and to nourish the community (B) TRADE-OFF: The forces of globalization can affect peoples' traditions and may discourage majority of family farmers to expand their production for fear that their ‘informal’ farms may not meet those requirements. (3) POLICY: (A) SYNERGY: By 2050 Manyara would brace itself to attain creativity, hard work entrepreneurship, and innovativeness with a positive mindset. (B) TRADE-OFF: This is resource-intensive and leadership commitment, if not taken seriously, may affect the entire process.  (4)ENVIRONMENT :(A) SYNERGY: By 2050 Community should use fewer chemical inputs and their production helps soil fertility and environmentally-friendly. (B) TRADE-OFF: The significant public investment and increased productivity consider natural resources constraints could lead to negative trade-offs in terms of land-use change, deforestation, and water abstraction (5) BALANCE DIET: (A) SYNERGY: Balanced diet should be an essential part of a healthy life, address escalating healthcare costs through the prevention and treatment of diet-related diseases (including obesity, cancer, heart disease, and dental disease (B) TRADE-OFF:  On the other hand indigenous protective food crops may carry the stigma such as “food for the poor” for a large part of the middle class and may affect the demand. (6)TECHNOLOGIES: (A) SYNERGY: By 2050 Newly introduced technologies at every scale, should be climate and environmentally smart, regarding energy, water, and chemical intensity. (B) TRADE-OFF: More value addition activities, often in the hands of men, could hamper women empowerment, by taking away from them the control of the indigenous value chain business. The aspirations of our vision in 2050 will be realized through system action with “PILLARS, GOALS, and STRATEGIES” and will be interwoven with six interconnected themes.

PILLAR 1: Better integrates natural under-consumed indigenous protective food crops & whole grain on every farm, market and in every kitchen ( i.) GOAL 1:Strengthen  indigenous protective crops seed systems: STRATEGIES: (A) The government could subsidize the distribution of indigenous protective food seeds  (B) support farmers’ organizations to develop and disseminate small-scale seed processing technologies. (C) Invest in research on natural indigenous protective food crops that characterizes farmer's varieties and related benefits. ( ii.) GOAL 2: Diversifying production system to enhance climate resilience and agro-biodiversity: STRATEGIES: (A) Promote better smart production management and techniques (B) Promote agronomical practices that have a lower impact on soils (thus preserving and improving their physical, chemical, and microbiological quality). ( iii.) Goal 3: Value addiction Technologies: STRATEGIES: (A) Drying, fermentation and other types of processing would make these nutritious foods available all-year-round. (B) The off-farm employment generated by value addition can be attractive to youth, thus empowering a new generation of food entrepreneurs. (C)The preparation of new products based on indigenous vegetables ( iv.) Goal 4:  Distribution and consumption systems: Healthy eating starts with having access to healthy foods. STRATEGIES: (A) blend maize flours with indigenous vegetable flours (B) Invest in aggregation centers to strengthen the links between distributors and producers. (C) smart communication campaigns about the health benefits of indigenous protective food crops via national and local media (TV, radio, social media), (D) Provide incentives for distributors, by establishing quotas in public procurement, such as school feeding, hospitals and army schemes for the purchase and provision of natural indigenous protective foods and whole-grain (E) Launching a multi-dimensional label for natural indigenous food crops and whole grain.

PILLAR 2: Promote environmentally regenerative, climate-smart and nourishing future food systems: Food is a basic need for all people and foundational for all other activities and aspirations. GOAL 1: Expand and preserve Natural food system resources and infrastructure: STRATEGIES: (A) Preserve and reactivate key natural sources of waters, natural infrastructures for water harvesting (B)To identify and preserve prime agricultural working lands and water sources for healthy foods  ( ii.) GOAL 2: Safeguarding, creatively using and celebrating the rich diversity of indigenous protective food crops and whole grain that sustains all of us.  STRATEGIES: (A) Encourage diverse scales and regenerative production methods for a wide variety of food products (B) Strengthen community seed banks for local storage and facilitate seed exchange. (iii) GOAL 3: Reduce the amount of food loss and waste:STRATEGIES: (A) Increased re-purposing of food that would otherwise go to waste can play a vital role in meeting our community’s food insecurity challenge. (B) Expand  composting opportunities to reduce bulk and emissions at landfills (C) Support consumer education to reduce the food waste in homes  ( iv.) GOAL 4: Engage and support communities in building vibrant, beautiful, and complete neighborhood food environments. STRATEGIES: (A) Food connects us to each other and to our neighborhoods through promoting home, school, and community food production (B) Encourage community-led efforts to share compost, tools, and transplants inputs (C) Develop maps that highlight neighborhood assets and opportunities for food environments (D) Expand culturally relevant education on healthy eating. (E) Promoting sustainable water harvesting. REALIZATION OF THE VISION: Our food system vision is like chicken and Egg phenomena, we can’t separate it; it will be realized if the community capitalizes on their strengths, hopes, and inspiration. 

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Photo of Emmanuel Dzisi

Hi Vicent, I like your work and your vision. Where is your contact / location in Ghana? I will like to connect with you.

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