Project Launch: Digital technologies and local food security in the context of COVID-19
The Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research has been awarded a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant COVID-19 Special Initiative. The grant will support Digital technologies and local food security: Smallholder farmers in Odisha, India, in the context of COVID-19 with $24,878 over one year. The project is led by James Orbinski, Byomkesh Talukder, and Rhonda Ferguson of the Dahdaleh Institute, in partnership with Blooom.
Smallholder farmers are central to food security in localized food systems. They produce 80% of food consumed around the world every year, yet most are food insecure themselves. COVID-19 has exacerbated their vulnerability and is expected to have long-term impacts. Research has shown that providing digital tools can maximize productivity, increase farm income, provide food for local consumption, and enhance diet diversity for producers and communities. This project examines Blooom – a smartphone app that supports smallholder famers – to understand how digital technology can contribute to food security and food system resiliency in the face of crisis and its cascading effects.