28 Aug 2021

India's Policy Pathway to a Food System

Discussion Paper

‘Game changing’ policies, actions & initiatives of the Government of India that shaped the path for a sustainable Food System


The background to this paper is the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 (UNFSS) and a review of the 'game changing' interventions that were identified and documented in the five theme documents prepared for this Summit. In turn, it triggered a recap of the various policy actions taken by India in developing its current day Food System. It was seen that many of the initiatives taken in India have been along the lines that fulfil the criteria laid down by the UNFSS. 

The UNFSS has defined three primary criteria to prioritise ‘Game changing’ policies, actions & initiatives across the identified action areas.  These criteria are Impact potential at scale; Actionability (taking into account politics, capacity, costs, tools); and Sustainability (including delivering beyond 2030). Further, it suggests ‘game changing’ solutions should support towards gender equity, empowering youth, and create synergies. 

The concept of 'Food System' - the complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption of food - is about adopting a system approach to how we think and act in relation to food. Note, that while the Food System is inherently linked with agricultural activities, it does not include all of agriculture.