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Publication | 16 April 2021

Food Systems Innovation Hubs in Low-and-Middle-Income Countries

This paper aims to draw attention to the role that Food Systems Innovation Hubs can play in creating healthy, resilient and inclusive communities in LMICs.

Food Systems Innovation Hubs are social, private or government owned enterprises that support local entrepreneurs and practitioners to advance productivity and sustainability enhancing innovations, access capital and knowledge through collaborations, train and build their technical and business capacity and create an enabling ecosystem together with local government.

Eight different archetypes of food innovation hubs are described:

Food systems innovation hubs can provide transformative solutions to food systems by bringing the right innovations faster to market in a cost-effective manner through three key actions:

  • Hubs can encourage outstanding food and technology companies to expand into LMICs, with the goal of growing market interest, aligning with a range of investors, and developing and testing new products;
  • Hubs can facilitate investment in local companies that have the potential to scale, as well as in technology transfer, nutrition, food safety, and consumer studies to prove market viability and identify latent demand for nutritious foods;
  • Hubs can stimulate innovation throughout the value chain in a manner tailored to LMIC markets and draw additional investment into scaling-up and innovating new technologies. This will be especially impactful to the SMEs and start-ups that dominate food production in these markets today. These SMEs also face unique constraints compared to their developed-nation peers. Food Systems Innovation Hubs are bold initiatives that will accelerate innovation, streamline processes, support nature-positive, biodiverse agriculture, build sustainable supply chains, and create a consumer pull for healthy foods to better nourish the nations and communities they serve.
Food Systems Innovation Hubs in Low-and-Middle-Income Countries
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