The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and The Global Knowledge Initiative(GKI) have released a new study identifying innovative solutions for improving the supply chain flow of diverse, healthy foods. The study focuses on emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia because of their vulnerability, complexity, and opportunities for big investment.

Over a six-month period, experts at GAIN and GKI researched new ways to improve nutrition outcomes, and also to spark a dialogue about investments for a better food system in these areas.

GAIN and GKI asked a panel of experts, referred as the Delphi Panel, to think about how innovation might catalyze the changes required. The innovations presented in the report are those that the Delphi Panel felt were the greatest opportunities to begin to reorient food systems toward sustainable balance. As a group, the innovations strengthen local food systems to more effectively manage and distribute nutritious foods from the first mile to the last, by reducing inefficiencies and waste.

The selected innovations followed these priorities:

  • Start with sustainable, nutritious foods. Production, processing and consumption of sustainable local foods reduces long-term reliance on imports and can yield planetary and human health benefits.
  • Invest in proximate processing. Processing and value addition closer to the point of production reduces postharvest loss, ensures nutrient retention, and increases the volume of nutritious foods on the market.
  • Tackle traceability for safety and transparency. Efficient and transparent distribution enables access to wider markets, stabilizing demand and reducing price volatility, while ensuring food safety.
  • Keep it cool. Cold storage options at the last mile extend the life of nutritious food and make more nutrients available to vulnerable rural populations such as mothers, children and adolescent girls.

The twelve innovations prioritized by the Delphi Panel are:

  1. Milled-based Foods
  2. Value-added traceability
  3. Market brokerage via mobile devices
  4. Cooperative processing and packaging
  5. Low-cost solar dryer
  6. Modular factories
  7. Mobile pre-cooling and packhouses
  8. On-demand 3rd party logistics
  9. Near farm mobile processing
  10. Small-scale cooling boxes
  11. Small-scale refrigerated transport
  12. Solar cooling

InspiraFarms has been featured under the innovation modular factories, described as “functional buildings such as cold storage containers and food processing plants that can be easily assembled and continually expanded from prefabricated components. The factories are cost-effective and can be modified in size when needed or in accordance with seasonal harvest patterns”.

“Modular factories enable cooling and processing activities close to the farm gate, reduce post-harvest loss, and extend the shelf life of perishable products”.

Get the report here