The disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to the Philippines in 2020, stirred Mindanao into making serious efforts in developing and scaling-up innovative solutions in order to ensure food security amidst disruptions. This drove the creation of the Mindanao Food Highway.
The Mindanao Food Highway is lodged under DsM’s Mindanao Futures Lab, a learning and problem-solving platform of social innovation and social labs. The term was coined by by DAP Fellow, Jo-Ann de Belen, inspired by the contemporary phrase “refugee highway”, underlining common international routes traversed by forcibly displaced individuals seeking safety and protection from trouble.
Applied to the area of national food security, the Food Highway is conceptualized to be a strategically positioned express route/s of food from source to the end-consumers who need it most, especially during times of disruption. It is composed of a consortium of changemakers who aim to develop and scale-up solutions to food insecurity, especially during disruptions.
First set in the context of Mindanao, where a number of areas displayed high levels of poverty incidence, making them more vulnerable to disruptions in the food supply, the dubbed Mindanao Food Highway innovation seeks to serve real-time, data-driven and dependable platform that decision-makers and stakeholders of the island can use, primarily in ensuring collaboration and in addressing crisis-proof food security and sustenance policies and implementation, amidst combating any forms of disruptions.MEET THE TEAM
Our Mission & Approach
The Food Highway aims to develop and scale-up solutions to food insecurity by:
- Deploying adaptive learning tools to gather data and information on food value chain disruptions
- Quickly plugging these data sets into an online platform in order to monitor the movement of food, medicine, and essentials; and
- Producing policy and action recommendations for decision-making.
Transitory food insecurity is quickly being felt in the country and may be a bigger problem when the enhanced community quarantine is extended and even after it is lifted. Those that have previously been most vulnerable to hunger and to the COVID-19 virus are at greatest risk during this time because of the disruption in the food value chain that can spur price increases and uneven food distribution.
The Food Highway aims to find innovative, data-driven and technology-based solutions to food value chain impediments during COVID-19 disruption, both in the emergency response phase and the crisis recovery phase.