Creating demand for nutritious and sustainably produced food in urban mega-cities by creating connected sustainable supply chains linking producers, primary processors, and distributers with medium-sized organizations (schools, corporations, local governments, hospitals, etc.).
We’re trying to decide in this activity which breakthroughs are both audacious while still achievable and which would have the biggest impact. Would appreciate your input! Thanks.
@NickOttens, the is a feasible breakthrough and achievable. Already, there is a high rural-urban migration, especially in developing countries. And this has already triggered the demand for nourishing food. With the gradual expansion of small scale business and involvement of the private sector, there is a need for a synergy capable of establishing a network of interaction for the direct supply of varieties of food items without necessarily going through the third party markets. This is not new in the real sense of it. I remember this was the method used in the rural villages in Nigeria where I was born. Farmers (primary producers) directly interacted with producers, where necessary, and where there was no need for processing, supplied food items to the primary consumers.
This could be improved through the use of modern communication and production technology.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, @otomololu! This is helpful feedback.
The urban homestead; http://urbanhomestead.org routinely produces 7,000 pounds of food on 1/10th of an acre, and sell their wares to individuals and restaurants in the community. It’s a bit labor-intense, though.
In one of my presentations, I show concepts for a website that include support for hyperlocal growing with a “Community” section to connect growers and buyers.
“Certified Growers” who agree to minimum standards for water, fertilizers, pest control measures, etc. get to list their wares on the website with photos, user reviews, mapping, business hours and so on. The idea is to help micro-growers establish relationships with local buyers. The idea being discriminating buyers will prefer the higher quality that hyperlocal can produce. Visitors to the website can also opt-in to get alerts from growers when crops are ready for harvest.
The website includes a “Pest Control Wiki,” and Companion Plant listings for growers, and “Crops in Demand” listings to align the efforts of growers with the preferences of their customers.
A “Farmacopeia” section of the website has a list of plants, a map of the world, and a list of edible parts with nutritional values.
Click on a plant in the list, and the map will show where in the world it naturally grows, along with a list of edible parts with nutritional values. The edible parts list could expand to include other uses for plants besides food, but food is the primary purpose at this time.
Click on a region of the global map and the list of plants that naturally grow in that region is shown.
You could take the “Farmacopeia” concept further and index medicinal uses of plants, and list recipes, companion foods, etc.
Another section of the website includes a “Dashboard,” a personal page that every user of our hydroponic system gets to use if they want to. When connected to the internet, our system can help users increase harvests and control costs by tracking the use of water, fertilizers, and pH adjusters. We can also track, log and graph nutrient solution temperature, manifold pressure, air temperature, UV index, Windspeed, Barometric Pressure, Relative Humidity, Sunrise, Sunset, and Solar energy and Battery power stats when solar power is in use, and more.
As an example, if there is a surge in water use, we can send them a text alert and suggest possible causes and solutions.
To maintain healthy profits, growers will do better by selling directly to individuals and businesses like restaurants, grocers, institutions, etc. Unless they can add significant value, distributors may not have much of a role to play here.
The disparities in dietary patterns between urban and rural, the county-level cities and a rural group villages and towns are hugely vast. The current differences of food supply and consumption patterns make contributions to the different nutrition condition and body composition in urban and rural regions.
Promotion of nutrition-sensitive pathway would have significant impact on diversifying the diets by increasing the availability of nutri-rich foods and productivity levels in the farmers field in short run and on the nutrition levels of the urban and farm families in the long run.
Focusing on the necessity of improving diets in both quantity and quality, food-based strategies including food production, dietary diversification and food fortification will leverage the required nutrition.
Thanks, @arshimehboob, that’s a great point! What different strategies would you recommend for increasing the availability of more nutritious food in urban and rural areas?
A paradigm shift in both urban and agriculture development planning is required in order to ensure access to urban food security, improved environmental management
and enhanced rural-urban linkages.
To advance the uptake of nutrition sensitive behaviours, we have to concieve, plan and handle an integrated inclusive approach through nutrition education/awareness campaigns, involving governments, private players and CSRs to promote nutrition literacy in grassroots levels.
Currently, approximately one-third of the world’s population is living in urban slums and informal settlements.
Urban consumers are almost exclusively dependent on food purchases and variations in food prices and income directly translate into diminished purchasing power and rising rates of food insecurity, thus compromising dietary quantity and quality. Urban consumers generally rely on purchased foods, mainly from rural areas or imported into the country.
Rural Producers/consumers must build the knowledge of farmers in integrating nutri-rich and biofortified plant species in their existing systems as the the diversification of crops in the farm is declining as a result the dietary diversity or food basket of the household has also been narrowing.