Lima 2035 chosen as Rockefeller Foundation Finalist for Food System Vision Prize

Lima, Peru, 7 August 2020Lima 2035 has been selected as a finalist in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Food System Vision Prize, an international competition for generating bold and realistic ideas for transforming food systems.

The Food System Vision Prize is call to a “fragmented system of actors” to unite, source, and create important changes to the global food system by encouraging groups to develop a vision they aspire to create by the year 2050. It seeks to empower communities around the world to develop actionable solutions and become protagonists in their own food future. Lima 2035 was selected from more than 1,300 entries submitted from 110 countries.

Lima 2035—led by an interdisciplinary group from the International Potato Center (CIP) and Grupo Alimenta—seeks to transform the world’s driest megacity into a regenerative oasis with clean water and nourishing food for all citizens. Based on ideas of social justice, the vision combines progressive water pricing, water harvesting from fog oases, and housing that integrates architecture and agriculture as pathways to build climate-resilience into Lima’s fragile desert environment.

Current food systems – production, transportation and processing – are one of the central challenges facing humanity today. Thanks to advances in technology, access to food has been substantially improved. Regrettably, recent progress in nutrition security has faltered, while environmental degradation continues apace . The Food System Vision Prize presents an opportunity to build back better than before, to transform systems to produce more nutritious food with lower environmental costs while creating more inclusive employment opportunities.

Lima 2035 was spearheaded by Soroush Parsa, CIP’s Lead Innovation Scientist, and Vasco Masías, President of Grupo Alimenta, an agri-food holding company based in Lima. Parsa and Masías launched the idea after numerous conversations about reconnecting Lima with its history steeped in biodiverse agriculture and rich culinary traditions.

The ideas of Lima 2035, Masías stresses, are not for Peru alone. “We think this approach can be adapted to locations around the world where people have become disconnected from their food systems and where current food production is unsustainable and unhealthy.”

Parsa and Masías assembled a team of architects, agricultural specialists and social media influencers to create a well-rounded group to flesh out their vision. Parsa says the spirit of Lima 2035 is one of collaboration and social connection: “We are a diverse group in terms of background and talents, but we all share a common desire to use technology and human ingenuity to address social inequality while providing pathways forward for more sustainable use of food and water.”

According to Barbara Wells, CIP’s Director General, the initiative aligns well with the institution’s research mission. “We are focused on science-based solutions to enhance access to nutrition and build climate-resilient, healthy and sustainable food systems. The Lima 2035 project represents the essence of our mission. We are delighted by this recognition from the Rockefeller Foundation.”

“These visions are a great example of the importance of—and opportunity for—innovation during a crisis. This is even more urgent given the severe stresses placed on food systems as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Roy SteinerSenior Vice President of the Food Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how they move their ideas from vision to action.”

Vision to action will begin in September as the ten finalists will advance to a three-month virtual “Accelerator” phase during which they will receive foundation support for storytelling, communications, and action planning. Each finalist is eligible to be named a Top Visionary, which will be announced in December 2020 and comes with a prize of USD 200,000.

About CIP
CIP is a CGIAR research center with a focus on potato, sweetpotato and Andean roots and tubers. It delivers innovative science-based solutions to enhance access to affordable nutritious food, foster inclusive sustainable business and employment growth, and drive the climate resilience of root and tuber agri-food systems. Headquartered in Lima, Peru, CIP has a research presence in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners across the globe.

About Grupo Alimenta
Alimenta is a Peruvian ecosystem of connected companies, with more than 20 years of experience. We believe that it is possible to feed the world in a sustainable way, in harmony with nature, and therefore we constantly work to achieve it, focusing on businesses that positively impact the food chain: from regenerative fertilization to high nutrition food products.

Alimenta combines the knowledge of nature with science. Inspired by the way natural ecosystems work, ours generates synergies that achieve positive impact, disruptive and innovative changes on a large scale.

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Learn more about the Rockefeller Foundation’s Food System Vision Prize and the finalists.