Welcome to India, year 2050.
It’s 5 am in Dehradun in Uttarakhand, and Amit, a data scientist, is awoken to the ring of the doorbell. A neighborhood volunteer has brought a fresh basket of local fruits. As an employee of the Food Security & Safety department, Amit is pleased with the packaging and handling of the delivery. All of the packaging is either natural, compostable or washable. The labels are “smart”: they change colors to indicate freshness, and they indicate the distance from the fruit’s source.
Amit collects the fruit and waits for his wife, Asha, and two daughters to wake up. It’s a family ritual to share the wonderful produce together.
After enjoying the fruit, Amit and his daughters head to the nearby orchards. Nature parks, orchards, and small community farms are now accessible to all. The kids pick their tree and pluck five juicy plums. That’s a few credits debited from the “One Nation, One Ration” account that the government provides to every citizen, enabling equitable access to nutritious food across the country. Then they’re off to breakfast at the community open-air cafe. These cafes dot every park in the city, run by chefs and local volunteers.
Volunteers contribute greatly to the community, and citizens, including Amit, feel pride in taking care of one another. Following breakfast, it’s time for Amit to fulfill his volunteer duty and prepare and deliver a packed lunch to his elderly neighbors.
On his way to help his neighbors, Amit drops his daughters off at the nearby orchard. Because of policies that prioritize food and agriculture education, all children up to the age of 12 spend time learning at the local farms.
Amit has a busy day at work, gathering and analyzing data for the Food Security & Safety department. In the evening, Amit and his family visit the Fresh Greens, a unique farm managed by rural and tribal women who pride themselves on their healthy produce, raised without the use of artificial chemicals. Quantities of produce are grown based on projected demands, reducing waste. Looking at data on soil health, water levels, and weather patterns, Amit helps the Fresh Greens team determine exactly what to plant and when.
As he advises the Fresh Greens Team, Amit feels a sense of accomplishment. His community grows their own food and, as a result, now values fresh produce – no more waste like tossing “ugly” foods into the bin. Amit’s family and the rest of the community savor the food they have and creatively use everything before it perishes.
It’s a good day, full of healthy living, for his family and community.
This Vision uses a multidisciplinary approach to build a future where safe, healthy, and sustainable diets improve the health and well-being of all Indians.
India’s population, projected to reach around 1.64 billion by 2050, is growing at a rapid pace. The population’s diet is predominantly cereal-based (rice and wheat) and protein-deficient, lacking fruits and vegetables and including an increasing amount of fats and sugars.
Malnutrition is a major challenge: more than 50% of women of reproductive age and children are anemic. The number of people who are overweight or obese has doubled over the last decade for populations in both rural and urban areas, while 25% of children and adolescents in the country are stunted. Despite issues with malnutrition and stunting, 20% of food is wasted nationally, with lack of cold storage as the primary reason for fruit, vegetable, milk and meat waste.
Th Eat Right Vision showcases how by the year 2050:
- More Indians have a relationship with how food is grown, distributed and consumed. Almost all community members choose to live or spend more time on farms than ever before, harvesting produce personally rather than purchasing it at stores.
- Biodynamic and organic farming are ubiquitous. A majority of farmers are engaged in organic farming and use a wide variety of alternatives to chemical fertilizers to enrich the soil.
- Drip irrigation and water harvesting have become commonplace, helping India to achieve zero-water wastage.
- Professionals are now part-time proud ‘farmers,’ networking with an ecosystem of responsible producers serving increasingly conscious consumers. This growing set of farmers are reviving extinct seed banks and expanding the diversity of indigenous fruits and vegetables.
- There is food security for all, and hunger and malnutrition are distant memories.
With an initial focus on improving hygiene and sanitation across the value chain, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has trained and certified almost 300,000 Food Safety Supervisors to evaluate and rate food service establishments for proper hygiene and sanitation. Their Eat Right Vision expands on the work they are already doing to set the stage for an improved future for food.
Additional key team partners include the Network of Professionals in Food and Nutrition – NetProFaN (seven associations covering dietetics, nutrition, medical doctors, public health professionals, chefs and chemical analytics), the State Food Safety Department, and a range of civil society partners.
Click here to explore the full Vision for India in the year 2050.