Our obsession with scale: Time to rethink local, decentralized food production

"The pursuit of endless scale often blinds us to the beauty of the local."
Is mass production of food products sustainable?
Reports show that around 26% of the global greenhouse emissions can be attributed to modern production systems. Also, food supply chains account for around 18% of global warming. For example, your favorite chocolate hazelnut spread may have cocoa from Ghana, hazelnut from Turkey, palm oil from Indonesia and sugar from India. Apart from the problems of global warming, a significant chunk of nutrition is lost and a lot of preservatives and chemicals are added to increase the shelf life. The mass production system also makes little sense for countries like India with 86% of farmers with less than 2 hectares of land who are not able to make good bargains due to no scale.  
Way forward:
“Today it’s not about how big you are, but how connected you are”
Aggregation and mass procurement might have made sense when the farming systems were distant and supply chain planning needed accurate information. But now as we move into the world of block chains, with good internet penetration in remote corners of India, decentralized production is the way forward. Apart from ICT, there has also been a lot of innovation in making efficient small scale processing technology. For example, there are a lot of small food processing machinery which can easily work on single phase in the remote rural corners. Access to information to farmers helps in adoption to organic farming for small and marginal farmers as natural farming reduces the input cost.  So is the stage all set to drive these local systems and change the face of food production systems. 
Consumer Choices:
It’s not just about the farmer, it’s also about the consumers having more and better choices. The consumers shall also have access to products made with fresh ingredients with better quality and chemical free. Decentralized production coupled with awareness can help consumers decide on food choices based on geography, taste etc. etc. Small scale production can help in building traceable food systems as well. 
About HoYi:
HoYi means 'Yes' in Uttarakhand and some other regions of India. HoYi is a brand nurtured by GramSe Agritech, a social enterprise based out of Uttarakhand. HoYi works with small and marginal women farmers of Uttarakhand and co-creating amazing value-added, traceable products from freshly harvested produce. The brand is also solving the problem of market access to the women farmers in remote areas by making premium quality value added products from their produce. However, the country needs many more brands like HoYi to reach the new definition of scale!