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Digital Transformation of Trinidad and Tobago’s Food Knowledge System: A Collective Intelligence Initiative

More people connected to the best knowledge, producing healthier, regenerative food for everyone.

Photo of Vijay Dialsingh
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Growsmartt Collective Intelligence LLC

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.

~ The University of the West Indies ~ Whyfarm (NGO) ~ The National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation ( State-owned Company) ~ The Cocoa Research Centre (Research body) ~ Cocoa Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (State-owned Company) ~ First Mover Limited (Small company)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

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

  • 3-10 years

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

Port of Spain

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Trinidad and Tobago

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

Trinidad and Tobago a country consisting of two islands cover a total area of 5,131 km^2

What country is your selected Place located in?

Trinidad and Tobago

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Trinidad and Tobago is a small island with a diverse population whose rich history contributes to a unique blend of lifestyles. We have benefited from success within the industrial landscape but have retained an attachment to the root of our wealth, our people and our landscape. After the decline in our economy directly related to the reduction of the price per barrel of oil over the past decade, individuals and organizations looked beyond our industrial fortune and back to our roots, more literally than not, sparking increased interest in the development of agricultural pursuits. The unique mix of economic activities across sectors presents an ideal pilot environment for analyzing innovative strategies with direct and indirect influences. The diverse socio-cultural environment offers the opportunity to evaluate our vision across ethnic and social groups with the hope of improving livelihoods. 

Trinidad is our home and as players in the food and agriculture value system, we recognize the unwanted status characterized by outward labour transitions, low investment and poor practices. A root cause of this is poor knowledge management. Improving this outlook by 2050 would address sectoral performance at the macro level and business and entrepreneurship at the local and personal scale. As such all stakeholders include the partners herein will benefit. As knowledge producers and disseminators we are challenged with delivery modalities but similarly encouraged at the possibilities. As such we are committed to the task of serving these stakeholders and looking forward to a sector that we all can be proud of.

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.

Trinidad and Tobago is a twin-island republic located in the southernmost region of the contiguous Caribbean archipelago. The country lies a mere 7 miles from its South American neighbor Venezuela and has been a popular destination for global citizens for many years. The island host five unique physiographic zones ranging from mountainous peaks in the North to rolling hills and valleys in Central and South. The combination of climate, vegetation and geology created a diverse range of soils, much of which was planted to plantation crops during colonial times. The tropical climate presented adequate rain and ideal temperatures for cultivation. Coupled with its colonial past, multiethnic influences have resulted in Trinidad and Tobago becoming a true melting pot with respect to culture, food, music, and daily life.

Historically rich with petroleum resources, the country has significantly contributed to regional unity and economic development, extending its arms with expert skills internationally.  While one of the most industrialized countries in the region, T&T, as it is affectionately known, possesses an ecological and geographic diversity unsurpassed in the region.  This is matched by its plural society, its ethnic and cultural diversity not seen anywhere else in the Caribbean.

As people from around the world have migrated to T&T, they have brought with them their way of life, their food, beliefs, music, and culture and as such have influenced the very fabric of daily life and what it means to be from T&T.

In essence, to understand the people of Trinidad and Tobago, you need to look no further than the food we all enjoy from the curries of India to the European influence of African creole dishes. These have all infused the development of food unique to Trinidad and Tobago from street-side doubles to the sea-side bake and shark. The uniqueness and diversity of foods originate within a similarly diverse agricultural system, the latter also influenced by an ever-changing palette. It is this unique culture of agriculture that is being eroded, forever changing the food system through imported substitutes and non-traditional options. T&T record the highest incidents of non-communicable diseases, which is partly related to poor eating habits and food choices.

For us, music connects us as people to the diaspora of forebears, it is fused within our calypso, soca, and chutney rhythms, enhancing the cultural experiences that we as a people share with the world.  A fixture of this artform includes tassa and steel drums from our traditional weddings to the greatest show on earth …  Trinidad and Tobago carnival. 

With the loss of preferential trading arrangements, traditional export crops transitioned to vegetable crops to satisfy local demand. Although the sector has a nominal contribution to GDP, it is vitally important to rural families and communities as a key source of employment and livelihood.  A transformation of the sector remains a real optimistic ideal for many, amidst poor policy direction and little investment. Many value chain players believe that personal and community investment is the most feasible alternative.

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.

The food system that delivers locally grown produce to the plates of consumers has failed to significantly impact economic growth and sectoral development, contributing < 15 % of the national food supply. The declining profitability of agriculture due to poor land-use policy results in good agricultural lands going into urban development. The primary production of starches and legumes is below hemispheric averages with substantial input cost culminating in low profitability. Small scale farming (farm size < 5 ha) by multiple family farmers constraints a collective effort towards commodity development, limiting chances of value addition and post-production processing. Importation of cheap food, and food ingredients used by manufacturing industries disrupting the value chains.  The competition for the small local fresh market contributes to non-sustainable practices including over-application of inorganic chemicals that enter food and environmental systems, resulting in declining soil fertility, posing risks to consumers, and ecosystem functions. The desire to make a profit also encourages greater attention to yield at the expense of nutritional quality.  Most consumers remain blind to the potential hazards of contaminated foods and nutrition imbalance. The latter has now been taken over by the pharmaceutical industry as consumers' confidence in food quality diminishes.  Noting Trinidad’s history of slavery and indentureship strong perceptions about the agricultural sector lingers in the culture with a predominance of dependants of indentured laborers.  Family traditions are strong and serve as a block to technology adoption and modernization, which contributes to declining youth involvement in agriculture. This poor application of modern technology lends to the inability to add value or access to niche markets.

  A common thread among these challenges is inadequate knowledge management. The knowledge system has always been either a top-down (vertical) approach where producers are advised by extension staff or input suppliers with no quality control with respect to information and advice. Alternatively, they also steer blindly into the pool of globally available information with no guidance and ability to discern credibility. The absence of a knowledge system or low production efficiencies can be directly and indirectly linked to inappropriate cultivation practices, low consumer confidence and acceptance, and the requirement to import food.

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

The vision captures a food system supported by an interactive knowledge platform that would connect food chain stakeholders as never before. At the primary production level, producers will be empowered by access not only to their peers but also by user ratified experts. The platform would provide a virtual space for knowledge sharing and evaluation. It would validate alternate sources of information as well as provide user confirmed information. This has the potential to remove contributor bias (e.g. from input suppliers) as well as replace antiquated and ineffective communication modalities. The main goal is to improve user confidence in the platform and its content. The facilitation of access to knowledge is related to productivity. Knowledge and knowledge support provided through the platform will lead to higher yields, better quality, and lower environmental consequences. Farmers will be empowered by empirical evidence leading to permanent change. The increase in productivity is the basis for industry/ commodity development. Hence the potential to increase the sector’s contribution to GDP is real. Alleviating the constraints to primary production through knowledge management will foster vibrant agriculture and food sectors with attendant benefits including a positive perception by youth and attractiveness for employment. A vibrant sector also implies improved livelihoods for marginal communities and sustainable management of now abandoned and degraded lands. It would activate and stimulate land use policy considerations.

 Knowledge assisted production and consumer relations in 2050 will result in healthier, safer and nutritious foods. Integrated crop management effected at the local scale and communicated and supported on the platform will result in improved quality of foods. Consumers will be connected to producers using sustainable production practices, building confidence and relationships. A greater proportion of local foods together with a society that supports it will lead to a reduction in imported processed foods, which have been linked to increased risk of non-communicable diseases.

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.

There would be a change in perception within the farming community, a positive outlook will unfold with increased participation by youth. Farmers will be instilled with a sense of pride and fulfillment, with wider acceptance of the importance of national food production to issues of food and nutrition security. Standards of living will improve for primary producers who are most marginalized along the food chain, but consumers will also reap the rewards of healthier and safer foods at competitive prices. Improving cultivation practices over large acreages will positively impact land degradation and reduce land-based sources of pollution associated with agriculture. A cleaner environment capable of provisioning services awaits in 2050. The vision crafts a multi-layered sector with value-added opportunities to replace imported alternatives creating employment. Since knowledge is gender neutral and the platform is open access, equal opportunity will result in a better balance in livelihoods.

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

By 2050, we would be operating in an information-driven food system where food value actors and system influencers can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals and communities to achieve their full potential in promoting a regenerative and nourishing food future.

We will bridge the knowledge gap that has crippled our food system and create opportunities for under-served groups of women and youth, using a Collective Intelligence (CI) framework. This platform titled ‘Growsmartt’ addresses the need for improved access to food system information, by pioneering the power of Machine Intelligence and the practicality of Social Networking. Using a strategically designed system of analytic tools and methods, we are synergizing the most relevant data from various sources to create an intelligence-driven knowledge bank, that will help farmers, institutions, policymakers, consumers, entrepreneurs, and investors make smarter decisions, reducing risks and increasing output. We're essentially developing an online knowledge-sharing platform that connects the information needs of producers and consumers, with solutions provided by experts using a collective intelligence framework. Think Facebook meets Reddit for the food value-chain but, better organized and knowledge-driven.

Particular effort is made to integrate traditional food system influencers and food value chain actors with these social network technologies. The governance structure of the platform will be made up of private, public and civil society stakeholders. This is essential in sustaining, engagement, participation, and change-making.

How will this be done?

Our new food system is human-centered designed and developed with a new framework for knowledge sharing and Information analytics.

Knowledge sharing- There has been a void in the food value chain community due to a lack of technical expertise, low farmer market and consumer power, the high vulnerability to risks from pests, diseases, and climate change, as well as the difficulties extension services, have in reaching producers. This has created a growing and urgent need for quick and precise agriculture, market and nutrition information in the online space. We’ve found that people with very focused questions or information needs tend to seek out online communities dedicated to those topics. However, locally and regionally there hasn’t been a dedicated platform that placed an emphasis on the agriculture community in any impactful way. That’s why in Trinidad and Tobago many ad-hoc groups are being created on messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook where growers share crop and livestock management advice, production data, market information and more. What this shows us is that people are finding ways to connect and share online because they see value in community knowledge.

Unfortunately, these existing online sites are limited in scope and solutions. For instance, Posts or comments have a short life, the rating system is poor, groups are closed and inaccessible for those not already part of the network and even more substantially agriculture data isn’t collected or analyzed to add further value to develop the community. So how do we build on the areas where growers have found useful but at the same time, make it more accessible, engaging and credible? This will be done through an online social question and answer format that is driven by the agriculture community. You can ask any agricultural-related questions and get relevant answers from industry professionals or even your peers. The community votes on which answers are most helpful, rewarding the contributors and making their thread more visible to users. Content such as questions, answers, and posts are organized into Topics, which you Follow, so that your Feed serves you and what you would find interesting. Basically, the goal of the platform is to allow you to have one engaging place that will give you quality information on any doubt or question you may have.

Information Analytics- Other than connecting knowledge seekers to knowledge holders through our social network, there is another challenge we must address to truly bridge the knowledge gap and that is data availability or rather the lack of it.

The Growsmartt Initiative seeks to use the power of big data, geodata, citizen science and analytic models to yield collective intelligence which supports the development of a regenerative food system. Through our social network of professionals, policymakers, farmers, consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs, we can now organize, collect, analyze and present immense data.

We will be working with stakeholders to design and use Big Data to combine relevant data from multiple sources to produce highly actionable insights. These analytic tools will help predict outcomes accurately, allowing growers, consumers, and institutions to make better decisions.

In addition, citizens’ involvement more specifically, citizen science is paramount to the success of this new information society. This public involvement in the review and discovery of new scientific knowledge includes data collection and analysis. So, what this means is; anyone can participate, with the right training; participants use the same protocol so data can be combined and be of high quality. This data can help real scientists come to conclusions. We are working with experienced international and local stakeholders to design and develop digital Citizen scientist tools into our online platform. Caribbean nations including T&T will benefit the most from citizen science, where existing data are scarce and infrastructure to conduct abiotic and food waste monitoring are limited.

We are organizing human Intelligence, big data and citizen-generated data to yield Collective intelligence. This system of Collective Intelligence that we will be building in our community will help solve our most complex problems more efficiently than ever before. We don’t currently have the answers to all the problems along the food value chain, in fact, we don’t know where or when this solution will arrive. Through the internet and smartphones, large diverse groups of people are now able to connect and share different perspectives to develop consensus. No one person needs to have an answer to a problem, we can now collaborate and contribute as a collective to solve problems. With this strategic organization of people and technology, we will now be able to tackle some of our urgent challenges such as Climate change, pest resistance, nutrition risks, food waste, water, and soil health.

Think of all the applications that will emerge through Collective intelligence:

•         Accurate early warning systems for floods, invasive species, etc.

•         Real-time Weather/Pest modeling -helps farmers better manage production risks

•         Accurate prediction of production yield. This impacts our export potential

•         Country-wide water and soil quality monitoring. Improves environment  protection 

•         Real-time data visualizations.

The possibilities are only limited by our will and ambition for a better, more sustainable future of our food systems. To summarize, Growsmartt will organize the agriculture community using a social Q&A network connecting growers, traders, processors, and consumers with knowledge stakeholders. And with this online community, we will train and deploy citizen scientists to collaborate with professionals to collect and analyze data resulting in the discovery of new knowledge. Our information analytic tools can then use citizen-generated data, big data and open-source data to produce collective intelligence for solving our most complex problems.

These digital solutions can have a transformative impact at all levels of the value chain and across public, private, and civil society stakeholders. However, CI has to be carefully organized in order to fully harness and direct its impact. Figuring out the most effective ways to design and foster collective intelligence is a formidable challenge. We, therefore, commit to openness and collaboration with all system stakeholders to figure this out because this is a real opportunity for us in T&T not only to effectively bridge the knowledge gap but also to pioneer a groundbreaking initiative that will have a global impact.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Prize partners

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

The refinement stage allowed the integration of key evaluative criteria (feasibility and co-community) and reflection on the scope and intent of the vision. The team included additional food system influencers, adding new dimensions of thought and process. A strategy was developed to engage stakeholders amidst the pandemic through online questionnaires and interviews. Survey data were disaggregated and analysed, which significantly contributed to revising the vision. A small sample of actors across the food system volunteered to be interviewed adding context and depth to the survey questions and shared their group’s vision. Team members participated in numerous online meetings strengthening bonds while completing systems-based activities. A work plan was created to monitor and assess progress. Required food system vision elements were addressed sequentially with editing for stakeholder input continuous until submission. The process never seemed complete as the vision remained fluid.

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).

  • University of the West Indies- Faculty of Food And Agriculture (Academic/Research) 

  • UWI Centre for Export Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Training)

  • WhyFarm (NGO)

  • The InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (Academic/Research) 

  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Marine Resources (Policy-maker)

  • Cocoa Research Centre (Research) 

  • CRF Designs Ltd: food waste management company (Waste Recovery)

  • Start-up Republic (NGO)

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.

Reflection on the requirements for the refinement stage of the food system vision prize highlighted the need for an expanded core team devoted to vision preparation. The team expanded to include IICA, an international agricultural development organization recognized for institutional stewardship and stakeholder connections. The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, and Marine Resources (MALMR) was also approached noting the nature of the vision and the internal tentacles to primary actors in the food system. Within the UWI, the Cocoa Research Centre and the Entrepreneurship Unit were invited. With their inclusion a wider analysis of the present food system was possible. COVID 19 influenced the modality and extent of community engagement with the team being confined to online information gathering and communication. System stakeholders were identified by categories and presented with an online survey soliciting feedback on elements of the proposed vision. The questionnaire was administered through a link shared directly with key system influencers value chain actors. Several local WhatsApp and Facebook agricultural groups were used to distribute the questionnaire to farmers, producers and consumers. Responses were not as numerous as desired but diverse across the food system. Farmers including women and youth, input suppliers, NGOs, Processors, retailers, reporters, dieticians, policymakers, educational institutions, and consumers participated. A total of 43 submissions were received and 56 % being female and 35 % youths, the latter mainly from the consumer and farmer stakeholder groups.

Follow up interviews were conducted with representatives of various food system actors and influencers. The COVID 19 pandemic has heightened national attention to food security, which facilitated the process as the issue remained topical. The interviews provided deeper insight into national and local issues and perspectives and the challenges associated with realizing our vision.

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

 We are plagued with an unsustainable food system in Trinidad and Tobago that without systematic change will realize food insecurity. Locally, food production has been decreasing while food imports have been rising. This isn’t surprising given that our farming population is aged; the average age for farmers is 65, while national youth and female labor participation have steadily decreased. Consequently, the importation of fresh, packaged, and restaurant food has filled this gap, changing our taste and diet profiles. Our urban landscape is decorated by international fast-food franchises coinciding with a meteoric rise in NCDs further placing a burden on our healthcare system and labor force[1]. This lack of attention and resources in our shrinking ag-sector has enabled practices that continue to hurt our environment. Increasing occurrences of flash flooding and bushfires in T&T not only destroy our biodiversity it encourages the further use of chemicals to compensate for poor soil quality.  

  As the world transforms heading into 2050, we stretch our collective minds to envision what our food system would look like and the changes needed to ensure this future is bright. We did so, not purely based on imagination, but also on signals of change: 

  • Global Internet coverage[2]

  • Increasing Mobile and internet penetration T&T [3,4]

  • Democratization of IOT through a reduction in the cost.[5]

  • Ag-knowledge goes digital- An FAO paper in response to COVID19[6] advocates for digital knowledge sharing due to mobility restrictions.

  • Citizen science- mobile ICT devices are enabling normal people to participate in science[7]

  • Modular farms[8]- linked with AI and UFNP (Unique Identifier), modular farms of 2050 means food security goes mobile!

  • Improve battery - To enable modular farms that are reliable, efficient battery storage[9] of renewable energy is required

  • Interoperability of data- Data definitions across all platforms related to food, health and the environment must be standardised if we are to better understand and build a digital ecosystem[10].

  • Blockchain- distributed ledger technology will be the foundation of your Unique Food and Nutrition Profile. It will also transform supply chains[11] and food traceability[12], accessible to consumers through smart labels (reveals the story of individual products).

  • One-health - COVID19 has renewed vigor for multi-sector collaborations in public health, animal health, plant health, and the environment[13]

  • Circular Economy- evidence validates the feasibility[14]

  • Decentralized farms - Smallholder regenerative farming and food hubs are growing. This will drive demand for information[15].

  • True food cost accounting- As more data and studies continue to reveal the externalities of food production[16], the true cost of conventional food[17] would have an impact on demand and policy.

  • Human-AI interface- One major barrier to accessing data is the user's inability to understand what they are reading[18].

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.).

 Navita and Alfred: A system update 

We follow a day in the life of Alfred and Navita in the city of Port of Spain in the year 2050. What has changed?

~show, don't tell~

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

Today’s Environment Challenge

Environmental degradation and climate change have become increasingly concerning for humankind, with the ability of our current food system to adapt and be resilient appearing to be inadequate. Not only does this system harm the environment it also impairs our ability to improve our productivity to meet 2050 future food demands. 

According to the FAO, food systems are responsible for up to one-third of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Agriculture is among the sectors most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as changes in temperature, rainfall, CO2, solar radiation, and the interaction of these variables. Deforestation in Trinidad and Tobago threatens the provision of ecosystem services[1] such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity preservation, soil protection, and regulation of water resources. More specifically, a decrease in carbon storage and an increase in GHG emissions leads to the decrease of convective clouds and a significant reduction in precipitation increasing average temperatures and drought periods in recent years. 

Soils also play a major role in maintaining a balanced carbon cycle as soils contain approximately 75% of the carbon pool on land. However, due to excess mineral fertilization, waterlogging, compaction, pesticide contamination, and other forms of degradation, there has been a decrease in quality, lower carbon sequestration, and accelerated erosion.

Another major contributor to GHG emissions is food waste. Waste disposal activities and all value chain activities that produce food waste generate unnecessary GHG. Reducing food waste by one half would reduce environmental pressures between 6 and 16 % compared with the baseline projection for 2050 (FAO[2]). In the absence of technological change and other mitigation measures, it is impossible to change our course. 

Additionally, The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) summed up the consequences of our environmental degradation given today’s COVID-19 context in simple terms “A perfect storm for disease: "Rampant deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of agriculture, intensive farming, mining and infrastructure development, as well as the exploitation of wild species have created a 'perfect storm' for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to people,"

2050 Environment Vision: A data recovery

Our Vision centers on a world where data has been democratized and empowered communities are organized and motivated to take actions that save people, animals, plants, and our shared environment. With global internet coverage and the ubiquitous nature of smart devices, most of humanity have active access to relevant and timely information and intelligence. Using a digital Intelligence platform people connect their information needs with solutions provided by the community and AI.

Interconnectivity of data; geo-spatial, weather, soil, water, air, farmer, market, traceability, trade and social network; among all members of the food system augmented by AI can credibly manage the impacts of climate change in the following ways: 


  • The Circular Economy will transform the way we utilise raw materials making it highly efficient. Feeding all people in 2050 will require a major change in how we use raw materials. This system will meet people’s needs without unnecessarily placing a burden on the environment and depleting natural resources. The digital knowledge-sharing platform enables the coordination of multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral and community action. Through a fusion of community intelligence and machine intelligence, our capabilities for ingenuity is boosted. 


  • Climate-Smart Agriculture Readily available data and analytics help stakeholders formulate suitable, localized strategies to increase productivity, enhanced resilience, and reduced emissions. This addresses agriculture’s extreme vulnerability to climate change and acknowledges the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change.


  • Ensuring resilience with the use of machine intelligence and community knowledge, integrated across the value chain and fed by IOT, abiotic, weather, market, pest and big data. This reduces vulnerability to shocks and produces accurate climate risk models that will help us identify appropriate adaptive strategies. Agility and resilience will be a core competency of our 2050 food system.


  • By adopting the principles of the WHOs 'One Health' approach and recognizing the complex interconnections among the health of people, animals, plants, and our shared environment. This promotes improved cross-sectoral collaboration and involves stakeholders at different levels to utilize systems thinking to support and strengthen integrated risk management actions throughout the food system.

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

Today’s Diet Challenge

Our 2020 food system has led to a proliferation of diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. NCDs are the leading risk factor for mortality globally, while over 800 million individuals remain undernourished and about 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies (FAO 2017).

In Trinidad and Tobago, as the population becomes more affluent and urbanized, people are consuming fewer fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and cereals, and substituting more processed foods, milk, refined cereals, meats, and sugar. Poor nutrition is further complicated by deficiencies of micronutrients. At the same time, 30-60% of the population do not achieve the minimum recommended levels of physical activity[1]. This coupling of poor diets and sedentary lifestyles is leading to an epidemic of NCDs among adults and children.

As such, NCDs account for over 60% of premature loss of life (death before 70 years) in Trinidad and Tobago. A key element to controlling the global epidemic of NCDs is primary prevention, which focuses on reducing these modifiable risk factors. However, in T&T there is a lack of data and information systems making it near impossible to direct the necessary changes. Therefore, there is a need to generate empirical data on risk factors for NCDs, develop standardized tools to enable comparisons over time and across countries. These will help make informed projections about future caseloads of chronic diseases. There is also a need to develop proper communication channels to promote initiatives that prevent NCDs and promote healthier diets.


 2050: A Data Diet

In 2050 People will have a Blockchain-enabled Unique Food and Nutrition Profile (UFNP). This Profile is compiled and managed from data and analytics on various social, farming, food, nutrition, fitness, health, market and environmental apps. UFNP makes it an easier decision to eat more nourishing food and be more active. This was made possible by the 2030 FAO Global Standards on Interoperability of Food System Data (GSIFSD 2030).

Super-powered smallholder farming. Small-holder, Urban, and Backyard gardeners use digital knowledge platforms to integrate data from their gardens or modules to their UFNP. This system has one purpose; to ensure food and nutrition security of users. The food produced is recommended by the AI-based on market supply and price predictions, nutrition requirements, skill level, and preference. Smallholder farming has been super-powered by this Collective intelligence and is operating with less wastage, intensive production, cost efficiency and reliable markets. This also allows them to form advantageous digital cooperatives and local food networks, improving sustainability. Smallholder farmers account for 65% of all food grown locally. Scaled at a Global-level this system sends undernourishment on a record decline, tumbling to 130 million with most occurrences due to regional conflicts and violence.

Nutrition on demand! Your UFNP; Health and fitness data along with supply chain data, assist your personal AI to recommend proper nutritional food based on availability and preference. This data explosion has led to global adoption of a low-meat diet that meets nutritional and caloric requirements from mainly fruits, and vegetables, consequently reducing diet-related GHGs by nearly 50 %, and premature mortality by nearly 20%[2]. 

Consumers are producers. Home gardening proliferation was made possible with Growsmartt’s Modular farms. These are compact sized automated garden systems that are operated in designated areas of urban apartment complexes or city commons. Users of UFNP integrate their personal AI to help manage this system.  Many young people 21-45 have adopted this technology ensuring they have an active role in ensuring their personal food and nutrition security.

Our data-driven food system is underpinned by widespread multi-sector, multi-stakeholder action. Not only has adopting a healthier diet helped us reduce the economic burdens on our health sector, but it also helped us reduce GHGs meeting sustainable development goals

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?

It is envisioned that the cyclical nature of the Trinidad and Tobago economy will continue into 2050 with attempts at national diversification and the spreading of the economic burden across productive sectors.  Although the current economy is diversified there is a heavy reliance on the energy sector, which contributes as of 2018, 36.1 % of real GDP (Figure 1). Additionally, it is the main foreign exchange earner, serving to buffer the local economy from foreign pressures.  Notably, the majority of the foreign exchange is used to purchase imported food reflective of the very low contribution (0.4 %) and associated development of the agriculture sector including forestry and fishing (Figure 2). Two global events will forever change the approach to medium and long term strategic planning in Trinidad and Tobago and by extension the Caribbean. The COVID 19 pandemic coupled with the drop in oil and gas demands and subsequent decrease in price has projected a USD 9 bIllion deficit in the current 2020 budget and projected higher deficits in subsequent years. These events have set the twin-island state on a path to reshape and strengthen the economy and ensure that food security and livelihood preservation are core to a resilient future,

While Trinidad and Tobago prepare for a world of uncertainty, the CARICOM is also preparing its member states to face the economic issues of reduced foreign exchange and high dependency on imported foods. Sustainable plans include strengthening intra-regional trade and knowledge management in support of targeted increases in national production and productivity. A functional Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME)[1] will provide the framework for a repositioned and functional food and agriculture sector. The enshrined free movement of labour would allow for a larger and more diversified labour pool across the entire food system. Importantly it will facilitate demand and supply logistics that are now tied to the US by individual countries. For example, Trinidad and Tobago should be able to fulfill the demand for processed or value-added food and products to the region, whilst receiving primary inputs from CARICOM member states, made easy through the free movement of goods clause. 

Geographically, the economy of the islands and countries are too small to compete globally and this prerequisite is needed for interregional food security.

For 2050 to deliver a truly transformative future of sustainability it must not only deliver food security and environmental sustainability but also an inclusive economic opportunity. A study by the Feed the Future found that when women have equal access to land and other inputs, their yields can improve by 20-30 percent, feeding up to 150 million more people globally[2]. Our 2050 system ensures actions are taken to create an enabling environment where women are empowered and take both an active and leadership role. Not only is this a matter of principled equity but also a serious economic one. A successful circular economy that truly transforms the food system requires more than ever before ‘ All hands on deck’. Digitally enabling all actors and stakeholders creates opportunity for efficiency and open innovation, qualities the Trinidad and Tobago economy gravely needs. 

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

Trinidad and Tobago, a multi-ethnic society, showcase diversity in cultural, spiritual, and community traditions, which has continued to expand with immigrants from Latin America and Asia.  Foods, their preparation and uses are interconnected to the ethnicity but have been influenced by local and foreign cultures. There is a constant battle between traditional foods and their consumption with modernized processed food and the adopted culture from the West. Eating habits will continue trending towards “fast foods” and more unhealthy choices in 2050, as economies expand and the workforce increases. This increasing opportunities for youth and women will facilitate a corporate society where food/ meal preparation is contracted outside the home. The vision addresses this issue through advocating and linking use of local foods and their preparation (through recipes and diet guidelines) to nutrition and health. An increase in the production of local carbohydrates and protein sources requires innovation in processing combined with targeted marketing to facilitate change. The availability of on the go or quick start meals will be the norm with microwavable packages offering a variety of options. Several signals are already present in the form of “callaloo packs”, frozen tropical fruits and ready to go popular local baked delicacies. The diversity of the society will be reflected in the ingenuity of the value added products. The sale of a popular local savory street food called “doubles” was recently stopped under COVID 19 mitigation measures. One company innovatively reacted and prepared an attractive packaged alternative to the traditional meal, allowing access at essential stores. This will be the mainstay of food systems in 2050, displaying flexibility to external factors while maintaining traditional preparations of foods.

Improved primary productivity has a multiplier effect within communities. Increased income into rural homes and communities will result in increases in the standards of living and affluence. This would encourage a reverse migration outside of cities to rural areas, encouraged by investment opportunities but also by the possibility for a healthier and safer life. The concept of cities as congested epicenters of contagions and unhealthy lifestyles will manifest in more persons opting for greater space where they can still either maintain their professions through “work home” policies or engage in alternative activities. This platform will support the latter. Digitization and knowledge management will also support the ability to maintain family and social ties at distance.  Traditional family values are changing such as family meals. Our 2050 vision provides a deeper connection to the food and the traditions in preparation, especially associated with religious or cultural events. Eid al-Fitr is a key religious occasion for Muslims within the population and the knowledge platform can connect consumers of meat to retailers and producers to ensure traceability in the religious process necessary for the consumption of the meat.

Connectivity and trust are two important principles of the collective intelligence platform that will realize a behavioral/ cultural change towards a circular economy. Through Blockchain-enabled traceability, individuals will be more sensitive to their personal environmental and social responsibilities, supported by policy frameworks on waste reduction and recycling. Processors linked to recyclers, who themselves are linked to input suppliers and producers. Consumers are knowledgeable and supportive of producers and processors utilizing environmentally friendly and sustainable technology and practices, with system players providing institutional and policy support. Restaurants and chefs can entertain consumer determined menus providing a more customized dining experience. Multiple restaurants across different regions can cater to synchronous eating events through digitization, bringing families and communities together in unique ways. Prepackaged foods can be linked to traditional or cultural recipes through barcodes that access digital media portraying aspects of the tradition and how the meal can be prepared, allowing and ensuring that these traditions are retained.

A vision of improved livelihoods for system actors who are generally marginalized and the potential interconnectedness (consumer communicating with the farmer whose produce was part of special dietary preparation for diabetics) will strengthen the family and community units, alleviating traditional or domestic issues related to stress and anxiety. 

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?

Realizing the transformation of Trinidad and Tobago’s food systems requires a system approach where we engage all stakeholders and pursue a wide range of actions. However, as stated by a WEF report “until now, the food and agriculture sectors have been slow to harness the power of these technologies, attracting significantly lower levels of investment and inspiring fewer technology start-ups than other sectors. $14 billion in investments in 1,000 food systems-focused start-ups since 2010, while healthcare attracted $145 billion in investment in 18,000 start-ups during the same time period”[1]. Therefore, technology innovations, combined with other interventions, will play an important role in enabling and accelerating food systems transformation. This will require the right enabling actions.

Internet everywhere: Current internet technology makes it infeasible to have 100% coverage and further widening the digital divide. In Trinidad and Tobago mobile phone penetration is at 145.1% while mobile internet penetration is only at 49.9%[2] However, this is about to change with the development of low orbit communication satellite networks which will provide internet everywhere on earth, especially in underserved rural areas. Aerospace company SpaceX Starlink project and Amazon’s Project Kuiper are racing to set up these mega-constellations by 2030.

Ubiquitous Smart devices- Our vision requires ubiquitous computing using any device, anytime, in any location, and in any format. As prices continue to reduce for smartphones, wearables, IOT sensors, physical access will intensify, empowering more people with potential information and intelligence.

Data interoperability addresses the ability of systems and services that create, exchange, and consume data to have clear, shared expectations for the contents, context, and meaning of that data. The world is increasingly shaped by data and algorithms. Therefore, it is critical that common, clean approaches to working with data are resilient, meet market needs and support growth. (Data Interoperability Standards Consortium). Our vision of people owning their data through a Unique Food and Nutrition profile (UFNP) requires independent apps (medical, nutrition, fitness, social, market) and devices (automated garden modules, phones, wearables, IOT) to talk to each other and share data.

Blockchain- Our future food system is one of transparency and confidence since several systems have been integrated with blockchain technology. Food traceability has been fully subscribed by the value chain along with smart labels that tell consumers the entire story of how their food reached their refrigerator. Accurate identification of contaminated food can significantly reduce wastage. The open platform creates a fair negotiating table for buyers and sellers and reduces unnecessary transactions and costs. Development grants are able to accurately and confidently send financial resources to regions and countries that have the greatest need and where the resources will have a real impact. Another revolutionary step in data ownership is the use of the Blockchain-enabled Unique Food and Nutrition Profile that not only protects the user’s data but also lets them monetize and sell to institutions. 

High capacity storage for Renewable energy- Current Lithium-Ion batteries such as Tesla’s Powerpack have come a long way in storing renewable-energy for home and commercial needs. However, there needs to be a further advancement in storage capacity and price reductions to make a viable replacement for fossil fuel energy. There have been other promising technology such as the flow battery that could solve some of the challenges of Lithium. This advancement will allow for a proliferation of intelligent mobile urban gardening modules.  

We are committed to developing a multi-stakeholder coalition that will drive the efforts and resources into realizing an enabling technological environment for our vision. Our goal to aggressively expand knowledge access is becoming possible through developments in ubiquitous computing and global internet coverage. Likewise, mounting efforts to increase data interoperability will make seamless knowledge sharing between institutions, apps and devices more viable, encouraging collaboration, and collective solution-making. As AI and information analytics continue to evolve, we are taking the necessary steps to appropriately integrate into our systems. To transform and be effective in solving big issues like reducing GHG and implementing equitable food distribution systems require collective intelligence, where machines and people work effortlessly. However, without community ownership and active participation, our vision will be drastically more modest, therefore, our implementations will be human-centered and community co-created.  

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

Trinidad and Tobago have been without an agricultural road map post-oil discovery and exploitation. The economy has maintained the ability to purchase food from international suppliers with little focus on the local agricultural sector. As of 2019, out of a 51.776 billion dollar budget, agriculture received 0.78 billion, equivalent to 1.5%. This state of affairs has resulted in a greater reliance and consumption of processed foods and related higher incidence of NCDs. PAHO reported diabetes and heart diseases have been the leading causes of death accounting for > 60 % of all deaths, while culture and tradition are partly to blame, this is compounded by the variety of food choices available and marketed. Presently, the economy is strained with local economic contraction associated with the COVID 19 pandemic and further loss of foreign exchange related to a volatile oil price. In addition to the public health anticipated new normals, the country is also anticipating new sustainable income sources.

A sustained focus on agriculture is anticipated leading to the implementation of a food and nutrition security policy. This policy will articulate programs and plans to ensure that all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for active and healthy life (FAO 2008). It will foster the development of a national food production plan, articulating the foods with potential for import substitution as well as local and national value addition opportunities. It will guide the country towards self-sufficiency and nutritional security, building investor confidence through the provision of alternative financing mechanisms, incentives, infrastructure and other components of an enabling environment. It will further solidify intraregional trade and harmonize with regional policies to strengthen the CARICOM and its people. This policy will reference the Agricultural Act, which supports the sustainable use of land and water resources.

Waste management throughout the food system is critical in a circular economy. Actions addressing the sustainable use of natural resources is fundamental to the described vision. Policies must address sustainable land management and resource exploitation to ensure primary productivity as the engine of the system. Waste management at all levels is critical. Waste management rules already exist but the vision foresees the implementation of waste separation at household and commercial levels with a larger and more diversified investment in the sector, including for recycling and recovery. Across the value chain, the major wastes generated will be biodegradable. The use of home and community scale food composters are a signal of resource recovery and reuse back into primary production. Value addition and processing will ensure appropriate treatment and disposal of waste including wastewater, with potential reuse based on nutritional composition. In house studies on the use of milk and juice manufacturing slurry biosolids as a nutrient source for pasture grass proved successful and will be upscaled in 2050.

Trinidad and Tobago will have to revise and implement a climate change policy that focuses more on disaster risk resilience that addresses preparedness and mitigation rather than response and crisis management. After Hurricane Maria in 2017, Dominica announced to the world that it will become the first climate-resilient country. In 2050 Trinidad and Tobago will be climate-resilient with knowledge management and digital transformations to the agricultural sector serving as pillars for integration and disseminating appropriate technology. Agriculture is particularly sensitive to climate variation and extremes. A robust policy that will address at all levels how the country will prepare and respond to climate variation is critical. The policy must state how technology will be used for early warning systems and planned production, providing data-driven evidence for decision making.

This successful data technology integration requires investment in both the digital and physical infrastructure required to reach rural areas. This will accelerate the pace of technological adoption, especially at the farm level. Governments through their various far-reaching mechanisms can best promote farmer and consumer education that can help shift mindsets, improve technological savviness, and promote the adoption of new technologies[1].

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

The food system vision is rooted in a developmental strategy centered on resilience and promulgating policies to improve livelihoods and minimize environmental degradation. Policy instruments endorse sustainability and circular systems. Policy instruments purporting incentives, subsidies, infrastructure and other features of an enabling environment will not only raise investor confidence in food systems but also facilitate increased productivity and food variety. This economic environment will support employment opportunities notably for women and youth, particularly in the entrepreneurial realm where young trained and skilled persons will be motivated to contribute ideas and labor to the system. Cultural norms will be faded and mothers and fathers will advise their children to pursue careers in agriculture and food. As sectoral development expands the distinction between and importance placed on cities and city life will lessen, with persons choosing a more reserved and nature-engaged lifestyle, however, not giving up the simplicities of modern-day living. Our link to the environment will be heightened and supported by policies that entrench resilience as part of your daily activities. The way our use of resources will be a reflection of a systematic change in governance and institutionalism. Trinidad and Tobago will no longer be highly vulnerable to drought, floods, and landslides as land use planning and zoning will mitigate against these hazards. Agricultural land will be classified and preserved for food security and farmers will be monitored for sustainable production. 

Digital interventions are critical to the implementation and success of this 2050 food system as it connects the players, actors, and themes. It is a part of a set of technologies that are needed for the circular economy. Automation and ICTs in agriculture will increase yield and economic efficiency creating a new kind of farmer. That farmer will also be aware of the environment through data collection, analysis, and interpretation. As he engages fellow food system actors he is aware of processing demands, nutritional requirements and health and safety regulations all tied into his knowledge management platform. Similarly, towards the user end, consumers and other food users are also impacted by improved policies directed towards food-related health concerns and overall nutritional health. Food chain actors are informed and respond to these perspectives maintaining fluidity in digital knowledge sharing and simultaneously validating the knowledge. These connections are the norm facilitating commerce particularly for religious festivals and other national events. 

2050 has realized a vision long-planned, set about by a strong policy framework that supported productivity and economic expansion while protecting the environment and building a resilient food system. It links system actors and provides reason for them to communicate and improve the system. 

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

Realizing a digital ecosystem that will yield collective intelligence is central to the food system vision for Trinidad and Tobago. It is therefore most strongly dependent on future technology and culture. As system actors interact with each other through the platform, data analytics would improve personalization and user confidence and comfort. While that will drive and encourage commerce and efficiency, it will have to be moderated and controlled by prescriptive policies protecting privacy, transparency, and intellectual property. The system encourages open access facilitated through data interoperability and multi-stakeholder cooperation on data. Necessary institutional frameworks are complementary to these system tools and processes. Increased productivity and efficiency is balanced against potential job loss at all levels. Automation may reduce labour requirements, while direct consumer linkages might eliminate the concept of a middle man (wholesaler). However, the opportunity is present in education and capacity development that can transition for a practical skill-based economy to a technological-based economy with an entrepreneurial interest in niche opportunities along the value chain such as personalized weekly food plans based on modeled food availability at local retail outlets. Ethnic diversity will contribute to traditions and spirituality in 2050, much as it does today. The vision will impact traditional routes and flows for information, goods and services within communities. National data shows a greater prevalence of NCDs in the indo-ethinic community strongly related to food and preparation habits. The philosophy posited focuses on health as a thread linked to all system actors and processes, rewarding positive changes through collective acknowledgment. Marginalised communities and persons unconnected to the digital environment must be protected by policies to guarantee access to similar opportunities.

The concept of a circular economy supports sustainability and diversifies the players in the economy, whilst eliminating redundancy fostering innovativeness. For example, wholesalers might not find a niche within this food system vision, but new opportunities such as waste management will emerge. As diets align to local food choices and environmental issues resonate with individuals, production practices will integrate more organic inputs and techniques, supporting local and regional linkages, whilst limiting global demands. This is a critical component of resilience and especially to global shocks such as the present COVID 19 pandemic. Another critical factor influencing the system is T&T’s energy sector, which is the largest contributor to the national economy. Projected low demand and pricing will affect national budgets impacting an enabling environment. Private-public and other transformative financings will be important to ensure a diversified economy in 2050.

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

In year 1 we will establish and operationalize our multi-stakeholder action committee (MSAC). The transformative changes we are making requires a systems approach and stakeholder buy-in. As the COVID-19 pandemic shocked the system in 2020, there was an earnestness by system influencers to support system-level initiatives. Efforts to build this bold and ambitious systems team have already begun through several initiatives and meetings including this FVSP process. 

In year 2 we will have successfully launched the digital knowledge platform. Along with design input from our Stakeholder partners, we will direct financial and human resources into the development and launch of our community platform by 2022. This platform will enable open collaboration and open innovation, democratizing access to information, and making the biggest impact on underserved women and youth in agriculture.

Year 2-3 Pilot Projects-  Enabled by the digital platform, MSAC will apply resources and attention to high impact areas: 

  1. Cocoa industry revitalization - We selected this sector for the pilot project because of its relatively small scale, significant known actors, socio-economic potential and committed stakeholder support

  2. Promotion of Circular economy- Multi-generational, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration co-design and develop this system beginning with regenerative agriculture.

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

  1. Achieve Network effect by 2025. Through community co-creation, diverse stakeholder participation and an intuitive UEX our digital community would have grown to critical mass. Value creation of the community is self-sustaining and will encourage not only continued growth of the platform but also improved service to value chain actors. 

  1. Complex AI integration  - By 2025 AI will coordinate and enhance human intelligence to collectively solve problems at a rate never seen before. Big impacts like what we’ve done in the Cocoa sector will scale throughout all sectors of the food system. Solution building efforts towards circular economy; improved RA, redesign waste and improved livelihoods will be accelerated 

  1. Caribbean Expansion- 2024-2030 we will develop a baseline assessment and roadmap for this objective. Priority is placed on developing MSACs in each country overseeing the implementation of the digital platform. CARICOM will soon become the most Food and Nutrition Secure region in the world

  1. Financial Sustainability- by 2026, 60% of digital platform’s funding will come from revenue, reducing reliance on development grants. As we achieve the network effect, this will present opportunities to capitalize on the multiple segments of like-minded users.

  1. Food System Data Interoperability Standards - We lead advocacy for common interoperability principles and standards for structuring and defining data in the Caribbean by 2030. An efficient food system interoperability ecosystem provides an infrastructure that uses technical standards, policies and protocols to enable seamless and secure capture, discovery, exchange and utilization of information among all data platforms.

  2. Advocate enabling environment -  Leveraging a strong multi-stakeholder network we would lobby for specific initiatives; education, training, technology literacy, infrastructure development, cultural inclusiveness, gender inclusiveness, environmental sensitivity, updated subsidy policies, and tax credits.

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

It is important to note that this digital solution was conceived prior to participating in the food system vision prize. However, the process has molded and reshaped the concept truly into a vision. 

The prize money will be used for two main objectives;

1.To support co-design, development, testing, and refinement of the digital knowledge platform.

2. To facilitate, marketing and communication, advocacy, and project commercialization.

The grant will contribute to design and building the digital platform and developing the associated software and data analytical models necessary for the platform’s operation. It will also partly support human resources. Further, it would provide finance for the community informed approach; stakeholder engagement and feedback, user testing, product revisions, and retesting. Since the platform caters to actors and influencers across the food system, it is envisaged that a significant amount of time and resources will be dedicated to this phase. It will be used to develop a citizen science toolkit. A major milestone in the development and execution of a pilot around a renaissance commodity, namely cocoa. Additionally, the grant will support a marketing and communications campaign including user workshops and media communications. For us, the project must align with the current COVID/ POST-COVID 19 strategic focus on food and nutrition security at the national level.

Realizing the potential for a transformative 2050, enabled by this innovation and approach to implementation, we also recognize that additional funding/ investment will be required. The prize will support the development of a comprehensive project proposal for further grant funding or investment towards the realisation of the vision. In that regard, it will contribute to continued testing and data collection to strengthen the platform.

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?

There are many adjectives that can be used to describe the euphoria surrounding the realisation of a vision, but to be given the opportunity to serve others through knowledge sharing and utilization is humbling. The vision is connected to and by knowledge sharing and collective action. The importance of knowledge in the agri-food community cannot be understated especially when validated and timely. Our Vision of a Food-Knowledge Digital Ecosystem will reach many people and improve access to critical knowledge, empowering them with the ability to make effective individual and collective decisions. As such, we hope that our vision communicates the power and importance of knowledge and its management at personal, community, institutional, and governmental levels. Another important lesson that the vision projects is inclusiveness and collectivism, a process that yields sustainability and foster resilience. Though resilience has been associated with natural hazards, it also has relevance in social and psychological dimensions. As an intelligence-driven digital community intricately involved in a resilient system, we acknowledge and value our connectedness and hence dependence.

Though technology will continue to impact and modify our lives and livelihoods and we must ensure that it can be adapted to improve our systems and processes. We should venture bravely, continue to transform systems using technology and knowledge to better serve us, and improve our standard of living.

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

Fig 1. Value chain actors and System influencers are connected and coordinated within a Community Co-created Digital Knowledge Platform. This community is digitally superpowered through Collective Intelligence and are able to efficiently Process system and external drivers, delivering timely, innovative and effective outcomes throughout the food system

Fig.2. Value chain Actors and System influencers act together for mutual interest.

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Attachments (5)

T&T Food system - A Caribbean context.pdf

Provides a more detail context of Trinidad and Tobago's interconnectedness with our Caribbean Food system

Food system maps.pdf

Question #16 system maps. Clearer visual quality

GS walkthrough.mp4

digital platform prototype: Early demo walkthrough of Q&A feature


Join the conversation:

Photo of Mat Jones

Hi Vijay, It was great to read your vision. I liked the concept of Collective Intelligence as you interpret it here, and especially the role of citizen science within this framework. We've also been looking closely at the important of citizen engagement in driving a more open and accountable food system. I'd be interested to know what you think the cultural consequences will be of your socio-technological innovations?
All the best,

Photo of Vijay Dialsingh

Thank you, Mat Jones . That is a very interesting question and one I did not specifically consider before getting wrapped up in the FSVP :) We were focused more so on the end solution; technology, methods, user impact. We've learned a great deal these past few months and expanded our vision through a systems approach. To your question, In my country, I believe with an open digital knowledge platform, transparency will begin to evolve the culture. We would see a shift in consumer values( ethical sourcing, environment, health) that would lead to a demand-led transformation of the value chain. I also see it preserving and reviving food customs and traditions. Through collaboration and care, we can manifest a digital ecosystem that will deliver data so convincing, that we may even have to admit when we are wrong

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