Characterising the fruit and vegetable environment of peri-urban Hyderabad, India
This study in the Global Food Security journal examined the perceptions of people living in peri-urban villages of Hyderabad, India, to characterise the sources and environment of fruit and vegetables (FV) and to inform future interventions to increase FV consumption.
Food environments in low and middle income countries are highly complex with a co-existence of formal and informal food markets as well as market and non-market-based food sources.
This study shows that a range of factors related to food environments determine acquisition of FVs, including price, availability, sensory attributes, pesticide use, and socio-cultural factors. Markets in the villages had limited availability – quantity and variety – of fresh FV. Price was a key driver of FV acquisition and consumption. Participants perceived deterioration in FV quality/safety due to pesticide use. A range of intervention types including developing cold chain infrastructure and developing communal gardens could increase availability of fresh FV. Communal gardens and financial incentives could be effective in increasing consumption of affordable FV, since this would lower the cost of FV. Improved knowledge and understanding of FV acquisition and consumption practices and their drivers is critical for designing effective interventions and policies for developing healthier FV environments and tackling malnutrition in all its forms.