Regional foresight for food systems in the EGP

A hand holding a Chameleon sensor.
Project code
AUD 200,266
Project leader
Dr Avinash Kishore
Commissioned organisation
International Food Policy Research Institute, USA
JUN 2020
JUN 2022
Project status
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This project aimed to create greater policy awareness of future issues and a greater collaboration between policy and research on using new approaches to support transformation of food systems.

It built upon ACIAR small research activities WAC/2019/136 and WAC/2018/168, and sought to:

  • Analyze some of the key aspects of the food system of the EGP region that have been ignored in the existing literature and prepare status papers on each one of them highlighting the key facts, trends and patterns, and gaps in our understanding of the dynamics of each component.
  • Carry out empirical assessment, using key informant interviews and phone surveys, to assess the impact of COVID-19 on farm households in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal with a focus on understanding the impact of the lockdowns on price realization of food grains and perishable high-value agricultural commodities and the main challenges farmers faced in harvesting, selling their produce, and the sowing of new crops.
  • Organise a high-level regional workshop on foresight for a more sustainable food system in the EGP region to share the findings of the three SRAs and inform the agenda of the ongoing regional and global research and policy discussions on sustainable food systems.

Project outcomes

  • 3 publishable reports on the impact of COVID-19 on farming families in Bangladesh, Bihar (India), and Nepal. These papers are based on in-person or telephone interviews of farmers from the three countries.
  • An article in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) on the impact of the lockdown in India on different components of the country’s food system. This paper was an output of an informal dialogue organized by IFPRI where representatives from agribusiness firms, financial institutions, NGOs, and academic institutions participated.
  • 8 journal articles on different aspects of the food system in the EGP including a) sustainable use of groundwater; b) farmers’ response to public policies on price support in India; c) intrahousehold differences in the consumption of nutritious foods in Bangladesh; d) the consumption of blue foods in South Asia and the world; e) the future of food production and farmers’ wellbeing in Asia and Africa; and f) the impact of COVID-19 on farming families in Bangladesh.
  • A regional workshop on the challenges and opportunities in food systems in South Asia and a workshop report based on the proceedings of this event.
Key partners
Bangladesh Agricultural University
Centre for Green Economy Development
International Food Policy Research Institute