Wednesday 7
Harnessing the potential of innovations for food system resilience in the Global South: Research insights from South Asia and Sub-Saharan AfricaSouth Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
Samir Doshi
› 14:30 - 14:30 ()
› Rondelet
Harnessing the potential of innovations for food system resilience in the Global South: Research insights from South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
Samir Doshi  1, *@  , Timos Karpouzoglou  2, *@  , Laura Pereira  3, *@  , Anneli Sundin  4, *@  
1 : Centre for Industrial Sustainability, University of Cambridge  -  Website
2 : Stockholm Resilience Centre  (SRC)  -  Website
3 : Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town  -  Website
4 : Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics  (Beijer)  -  Website
* : Corresponding author

The challenges on the future and resilience of our food system are widely recognized and discussed. Scientists project that the globe's increasing population and consumption will require an increase in current food production by 60-70 percent in four decades. Soil degradation, arable land and water availability, and climatic uncertainty all pose ecological constraints on these needs. Food management and distribution will also need to be addressed – India is one of the world's largest producers of grain, while having the largest population of hungry and millions of tonnes of food rotting on the roadside annually. Quality of food and nutrition are also emerging issues, with rising incomes and service-based economies leading towards higher rates of obesity. In Sub-Saharan Africa the onset of climate change combined with highly variable rainfall, frequent droughts and low water productivity is likely to pose added risks for food production in the region, particularly for small-holder farmers. Additionally, a lack of infrastructure and investment in the post-production food system has further lowered its ability to deliver food security in the many developing regions.

The challenge is not just how to meet this demand, but how to sustain it while also generating livelihoods and conserving ecosystems that all lead to a better quality of life. It is further argued that bottom up innovations (such as those emerging from novel interactions between civil society and citizens) will play a much more central role in how our food and agricultural futures are negotiated. Agriculture makes up the largest labor demographic – over a billion people are employed in the global industrial food system, and the rate increases in more impoverished regions. Many scientific, business and political leaders have proposed large-scale technological solutions to “Feed the Future,” but how will these macro-level solutions impact people on the ground? How will they be implemented by this widespread demographic? What types of social innovation across the value chain will be required in order for effective transformation to be realised? For example, the emergence of information and communications technology (ICT) has the potential to initiate social transformation in the developing world, but what are the implications for the food system?

Through speed-talks, our session will present several case studies of food-system innovations for different regions of the Global South. We will explore how these innovations will improve resilience for social-ecological systems in a drastically changing climate and economy. An additional theme for our session is how this interdisciplinary area of research will evolve with these global challenges and how best the research community can organize itself to respond to these challenges. We have purposely chosen early-career researchers and practitioners outside of academia to speak and facilitate a dialogue after the presentations in order to provide novel perspectives that can be translated into impactful research. Various new research methodologies, tools and data sources such as those from social media will be discussed in order to define an ethical research agenda for harnessing innovation in the food system resilience in the Global South.


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