The high-level Delhi Conference “Paths of Convergence for Agriculture, Health and Wealth,” hosted in June, 2012, addressed issues that exist at the nexus of agriculture, health, and wealth. The conference highlighted the importance of building linkages across these domains and creating road-maps of real-world initiatives/ cross-sectoral partnerships in the areas of: transformative innovation, business engagement, policy convergence, and metrics and modeling. Over 100 participants from a wide range of scientists, industry leaders, civil society representatives and policy makers were brought together to develop Roadmaps for real-world changes aimed at accelerating secure nutrition and slowing the spread of obesity-related non-communicable diseases. Many of these themes are embedded in the context of India, as India has some of the highest rates of malnutrition as well as the double burden of skyrocketing rates of NCDs in addition to a large agricultural sector and strained health systems.
Three features set the MWP Delhi Conference apart from most others aimed at addressing these issues. First, there was a strong focus on harnessing the power of business as a catalyst for real-world change through collaboration between different sectors of society and different types of experts and leaders. Second, there was an emphasis on seeking out innovation from industrial, scientific, healthcare, agriculture and government players for impact and scale. And third, the conference was one stage of a sustained convergence-building process--that is, a process of enabling different types of
players to work independently as well as collaboratively toward well-integrated goals--targeted at developing and deploying a roadmap of projects intended to effect meaningful change at community, state, national and global levels. These three approaches are essential to laying out new paths to solving critical, complex, global nutrition-related problems that have consistently proven resistant to conventional efforts.