1. Are you aware of actual direct links between street food vendors and local urban farmers?
It is rampant in India and more so in Tribal areas - where it is not only cultivation but also collection of food items. Collection of different fruits, tuber, medicinal plants' product which are sold rampantly in the urban areas.
There are many laws to take care of these issues - Rights of the Forest dwellers - Individual Rights and Community Rights.(Forest Rights Act -2006 - INDIA)
Let us not confine our thinking to the so called food items which are cultivated in large scale and there is visibility of Marketable transaction and a modern economy operates (with money). Let us think of those items which are part of consumption of even modern man but only collected from forest or rural areas and most recently near the urban areas.
Take the case of all medicinal plants and tubers. Is medicine a part of food items or not? The Triphala - ( Harida, Bahada, Amala)
A big question really to the modern Economics.
Are these sold, as food vendors sell the tiffin's, drinks, launch or dinner pack.
Can we extend our discussion to the all the products (of Consumption) in the food basket and how these operators really function?
2. Are there examples of concrete measures promoted by local authorities to recognize and increase such kind of link?
The so called Informal Sector - as the mainstay of a large section of people's engagement talks about these vendors. And a host regulations are there in India to restrict their operations.
By the same time the local authorities also impose some guidelines for hygienic safety, provision of safe shade, polythene to cover the food items (as in Ahmedabad).
3. If so, how have these actions influenced consumers’ choices towards street food?
Many a time it has a very good effect on the consumers - Restrictions on hygienic, quality of oil used, cleanliness of the utensils used for cooking etc.
These have a lot of good effects on the consumers :- washing the glass/cup used for sipping tea in hot water (as is practiced in most part of Kolkatta) -- at least on the health and hygiene of the consumers.
4. Have similar initiatives been prompted directly by street food vendors associations? How?
Yes. Some attempts have started in Pune and Mumbai, but could take shape. But the association of Dabba Bala in Mumbai has time and again emphasized upon the health and hygiene as maintained by them to be taken up seriously by the roadside venders. But it has not taken shape.
In sharp contrast to this Karnataka has strict laws at least in the city of Bangalore, Mangalore and Mysore. No vendor can go scot free without maintaining the basic minimum standard.
This has a positive effect in making the city Silicon valley of India.
5. I believe that creating a system of incentives (e.g permits to sell in areas where there are more potential customers, such as near schools, hospitals, transportation hubs; vouchers or some sort of recognition mechanism for good practices) is required for motivating the street vendors to use locally-sourced, fresh produce. Do you think that such incentives could be successful, and why? What other types of incentives might be, and why?
Rayathu Bazar, the concept of MARKET by the farmers or of the FARMERS/ CULTIVATORs as developed in Andhra Pradesh (India) has given a lot of incentives.
Long since the sale of Grapes, watermelon in Hyderabad , Maize(Corn) and now baby corn cultivated near Hyderabad city have been duly promoted by these Rhyathu Bazar.
Allotting specific locations of high sale point (based on localized customers' demand)to vendors go a long way as found in Hyderabad city (India)
6. What new mechanisms can be put in place to raise peoples’ awareness on the consequences of their street eating habits? Do you know any advertising methods which have been proven effective?
In India the large scale advertisement of eating out as a symbol of status has significantly increased the habits of people eating from vendors.
Recent news of Amir Khan - the cine Star eating out from a vendor in Jharkhand has created much ripples.These are big advertisement stunt than the so called health and hygiene concern expressed by Govt of India's advertisement on Cleaning the hands before eating or the campaign for Swachha Bharat or Sanitary Toilet.
PRADIP KUMAR NATH,ADJUNCT FACULTY,
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PANCHAYATI NRAJ,
RAJENDRANAGAR, HYDERABAD, TELENGANA
INDIA 500 030