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Reports 17 Jun 2016

Food system in India must transform to feed its growing cities: Report

Increasing urban employment and rising incomes portend significant growth for India's $360 billion food market.

By PTI

India’s food system needs substantial public investments to expand and increase the quality of storage, handling and transportation infrastructure.

According to a report published by The prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs, India’s food system is largely unorganised and highly fragmented.

The report also underlines that the country must reform government procurement, tariff and tax policies affecting urban food delivery to feed its growing cities.

It also recommends ways to reduce regulatory complexity and enhance food testing capacity.

To improve the supply system, the paper further identifies areas of improvement in transit, warehousing, cold chains, retail and processing that could improve urban food security in India.

"The scale of food and nutrition needed to sustain that is hard to fathom and India's food system is already failing to deliver food security for all," said Alesha Black, Director of the Council's Global Food and Agriculture Programme.

"Now imagine when that population doubles in the next 40 years. India has to transform its food system to feed that urban growth," he said.

The report argues that the food system in India must transform to feed its growing cities.

Increasing urban employment and rising incomes portend significant growth for India's $360 billion food market.

Yet substantial public and private investments, as well as key regulatory reforms, are needed to update India's unorganised, fragmented food system, it said.

"There is no more fundamental measure of the well-being of a population than its food and nutrition security," Durkin said.

"India must make targeted public investments and create a path for the private sector to improve the state of urban nutrition and meet growing demand for food in India's cities," said the report.

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