Convergent Innovation (CI) for Food Security Workshop Series

Harnessing the Power of Technologies and Businesses to Promote Pulses and Millets Production and Consumption in Subsistence and Market-Based Contexts in India

October 30-31, 2014

Montreal, Quebec

Food and food innovation, positioned strategically at the nexus of agriculture, nutrition and health, has tremendous potential to strike a balance between traditional rural agricultural livelihood and modern urban industrial lifestyle to address some of the most critical human and economic development problems still facing India, other low-middle income countries and emerging economies around the world.  Consequently major investments have been done at country and global level by government, private sector and civil society actors in both building food innovation capacity for economic growth and in linking agriculture to nutrition for human development. Food CI accelerators may have a timely transformational power in bridging these two stream of investments and linking them to similar investments deployed at state and city level, as well as community mobilization and grassroot efforts. 

The Montreal October 30th-31st workshop is convened to design and plan two Convergent Innovation Food Accelerators for India and Canada, with discussion during this workshop focusing on pulses and millets programs.


Harnessing the Power of Technologies and Businesses to Promote Pulses and Millets Production and Consumption in Subsistence and Market-Based Contexts in India

August 22, 2014

Montreal, Quebec

This CI workshop is part of the convergent innovation for food security series. Food security is considered in all its dimensions to cover subsistence and market-based context as per the 1996 Rome declaration on food security definition “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. The absence of food security can have significant consequences, for individuals and for society—including malnutrition, obesity, disease, and poverty. It also prevents the farm, food and health sectors to reach their full productivity and economic potential.

The aim of the workshop is to pursue the development of an India country-level plan for a food convergent innovation platform for pulse and nutri-cereals. India is a central platform for the development of CI roadmaps, with a focus on affordable dietary diversity and balance for addressing nutrition problems tied to the ‘South Asian Enigma” (i.e., persistence of food insecurity and malnutrition problems despite economic growth) and the ‘double burden” (i.e., simultaneous presence of under-nutrition and over-nutrition within household and at population level, with collateral diseases such as anemia and diabetes).


Food Innovation to Scale Up Health and Economic Impact of Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages: A Convergent Innovation Workshop to Harness the Power of Technologies and Businesses in the Pulses and Millets Value Chains

July 16-17, 2014

Mumbai, India

The focus of this workshop was to engage Indian agri-business and food companies to understand their interests and perspectives on developing healthier food products, particularly focusing on pulse and millet-based foods. The workshop was co-hosted by CGIAR/IFPRI, MCCHE, the Tata-Cornell initiative on agriculture and nutrition (TCi) and the INCLEN trust. This engagement built on previous global discussions in developing a public-private platform for pulse innovation, the Pulse Innovation Platform.

The workshop focused on pulse and millet value chains as instances of nutrient-rich agricultural commodities where linkages to nutrition could be scaled up. The program brought together a small group of Indian and international participants from agriculture, food, and health ecosystems to discuss key issues and pursue concrete courses of action through the design and development of convergent innovation roadmaps.

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