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Re-Integrating Food Systems: Development Potential?



Re-Integrating Food Systems: Development Potential?

by: Sara deFosset

This study looks at the potential of integrated food systems to meet sustainable development goals. Drawing on relevant literature and field research, it first explains the rationale behind integrated food systems for development, discussing the functionality, thinking and theory behind food system integration. It then looks at the cultural and historical context of the current food system in the chosen research sites of Central and Northern India. Turning next to policy, this work discusses how contemporary food systems in India, and in general, are shaped by agricultural policy, and how policy frameworks may be re-configured to better incentivize integrated food systems. This is followed by a general discussion of several issues related to integrated food systems for development: consumption, gender, participatory approaches and spatial and temporal scales. This paper argues that food system integration can help to achieve specific Millennium Development Goals, most notably reductions in poverty and hunger and environmental sustainability. The researcher concludes that if properly supported by favorable policy measures, funding, and public perception, integrated food systems have the ability to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals. Finally this paper concludes by identifying areas where further research is needed and recommending specific policy measures which could be utilized to incentivize the wider adoption of integrated food systems.

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