WEF report finds India evolving food systems for farmer-allied SMEs
According to a new World Economic Forum (WEF) research released on Monday, India is one of the few countries that has been able to transform its food systems for a broader set of outcomes by harnessing the potential of small and medium-sized firms.
According to a WEF research presented today on the first day of its Annual Meeting 2023, countries that address the food crisis can improve jobs, health, and the environment while simultaneously meeting net zero targets more effectively.
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It said that India, Ghana, and Vietnam have been able to change their food systems by using the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially those with ties to farmers and who work in local food chains.
According to the research, changing the way food systems work can help solve some of the world’s hardest problems, like climate change and make sure people have stable jobs.
‘Food system transformation provides healthy and nutritious meals as well as respectable work for farmers and producers. This analysis demonstrates how economic development combined with environmental conservation helps communities with climate adaptation and mitigation measures’ According to Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Nature and Climate.
The paper, which was written with Bain & Company, gave repeatable models from seven ‘early mover’ countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. These countries’ results have been fairly stable, and their examples and lessons can be used in most places.
‘Depending on the country’s situation, multiple pathways might be chosen to reform our agri-food systems for greater food security, nutrition, and sustainability,’ said Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
‘When food fails, everything fails,’ Geraldine Matchett, Royal DSM’s Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and Co-Chair of the CEO Alliance on Food, Nature, and Health, said. According to the research, in India, a multi-decade programme based on support for smallholder farmers and dairy firms has helped transform dairy into the country’s largest agricultural product, accounting for nearly one-third of rural income and 10% of total caloric intake in 2019.
‘This shift began with government programmes that encouraged the development of local cooperatives, extension services, and credit. It eventually grew into a domestic industry with a number of successful, tech-enabled, vertically integrated firms with farmer-allied sourcing models ‘It went on to say.
According to the WEF, sector reforms in Vietnam and Ghana have taken a similar course. India’s largest agricultural product is dairy. It makes up 5% of the country’s GDP and is an important source of nutrition.
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India is currently the world’s largest milk producer, with 80 million smallholder farmers raising herds of fewer than ten animals that produce 70% of the milk.
As the country continues to urbanise, city inhabitants spend more money on dairy and consume more processed dairy products with larger profit margins. The sector’s value addition more than doubled between 2002 and 2021, reaching over $15 billion in 2020.