Workshop on calling up Agriculture-Nutrition linkage through eKutir’s Veggiekart held

eKutir’s VeggieLite
achieves Gates Foundation Grant
MoU signed between eKutir, MCCHE and Wholsome Wave
Bhubaneswar:  To scale
up agriculture-nutrition linkage by bringing Indian and International partners
together, VeggieKart, a joint initiative of eKutir and MGM Agriventure Limited
in association with McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics
(MCCHE) and Wholesome Wave, USA organised Convergent Innovation Workshop on
calling up Agriculture-Nutrition linkage through eKutira’s Veggiekart here on

‘Convergent Innovation’ (CI) has been advanced as a solution
oriented paradigm that aims to go beyond what has been possible thus far in
addressing complex human problems at the nexus of agriculture, food and health
by defining new paths of convergence between economic growth and human
The workshop organised by Veggiekart in association with
McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE) and Wholesome
Wave, USA, taps into agriculture funds for food stamps to improve accessibility
and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables to address obesity and other
non-communicable diseases in undeserved communities.
Dignitaries attending the workshop focused on ‘VeggieLite’,
another innovation done by eKutir, to be operational under the VeggieKart model
will be commenced in August 2014 will create a distribution channel for farmers
to sell fresh vegetables directly to low income groups. It is an extension of
eKutir’s VeggieKart initiative which creates sustainable market linkages for
rural farmers to sell their produce.
 eKutir’s pioneering
project VeggieLite, created in collboration with Wholesome Wave and McGill
Center for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), a recipient of
Grand Challenges India 2014, supported by the Gates Foundation, USAID and
Department of Biotechnology, the Indian government’s anti-poverty scheme.
A MoU was also signed
between the three partner organizations eKutir, MCCHE and Wholsome Wave on the
occasion. The project has been awarded under the Grand Challenges program
‘Achieving Healthy Growth through Agriculture and Nutrition’. This rewards the
development of innovative interventions that integrate agricultural practices
with nutritional outcomes aimed at improved health benefits for women and
children, resulting in significant socio-economic impact.
Prof. Laurettee from the Department of Convergent
Innovation, McGill University after signing of the MoU said, “We are quite
excited to be associated with eKutir, who also believes in the principles of
convergent innovation”
VeggieLite hubs will be established in local villages and
urban slums to sell fresh, affordable and nutritious vegetables to low income
households. Women will be empowered, by undertaking key roles in this
initiative as smallholder producers, managing the VeggieLite hubs and as
consumers of fresh produce for their households.
eKutir founder and Ashoka Global Fellow Mr. K C Mishra on
the occasion said “We’re delighted that VeggieKart/VeggieLite initiative has
received this recognition. This sustainable and holistic approach improves the
diet quality and enhances the livelihoods of our poorest communities whilst
creating jobs for women.”
Founder of Wholesome
Wave and also an Ashoka Fellow Daniel Ross after the signing of the MoU said,
“Excited to partner with eKutir in the VeggieLite initiative. We are planning
to integrate some of our innovations from USA to the VeggieLite innovation of eKutir”.

Among others, MCCHE representative Laurette Dube, Srivardhini
K Jha, Daniel Ross, Dr. P K Joshi from IFPRI, eKutir COO Suvankar Mishra and
Pankaj Mohanty from MGM attended the ceremony.

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