Foresight for more sustainable food systems in the EGP

What is the future of food systems in the EGP, and how can agriculture develop in a way that is fair and equitable for all? What are the major factors that will shape rural development in the EGP in the medium and long-term future? How do we improve food security while protecting the environment? What will farms and farmers look like in 2050?

These are some of the questions that were raised by participants at the first meeting of the Foresight component in Delhi on 13th June. Forty participants from the public, development and private sectors came together to discuss key challenges and opportunities for the EGP and identify ways to improve the capability for foresight work in the region.

Foresight activities and dialogue processes will be a key component of ACIAR SDIP. The first meeting was an exploratory day and the first in a longer term, participatory and iterative process that aims to improve collaboration between key regional partners to strengthen understanding of longer term food systems changes, the implications for food, water and energy security and transformational opportunities for rural livelihoods, particularly in the context of gender and climate change.

The discussions focused on themes of rural transformation, gender, water and climate change and political influences on food systems. These were captured and will be incorporated into follow up work under ACIAR SDIP.

The benefits of the Foresight process were seen in terms of creating an opportunity for learning by bringing together different views and a breadth of intellectual enquiry that can contribute to the bigger picture challenges in the region. Integration and synthesis of existing information coupled with scenario planning can enhance the knowledge-policy interface. The process was seen as aligning well with government priorities which is important if we want to achieve buy-in from government agencies, and ultimately actionable change.

Our colleagues also urged caution in planning and implementing this work. Implementation is critical, and there is a need to focus on issues that are critically important, able to be changed, and for which there is existing technical capacity to ensure that actionable outcomes are achieved. This means making sure that we are linked into the wider food system, including the people who are making the decisions, and clear communication of complex messages.

A report from this workshop is available now

The next activities for the Foresight component will be updated soon on the website, and communicated to key participants.

For more information on work under the Foresight component, please contact Dr Kuhu Chatterjee kuhu.chatterjee@aciarsdip.com.

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Kuhu Chatterjee