Focus Area ︎︎︎ Invisible Cities

Mandis for local food production


New Delhi
As the conversation around urban farming picks up, organisations and businesses have emerged aiming to encourage and engage people in local food production. Yet, these efforts in the urban farming ecosystem have not translated into mass adoption. The city needs physical space where these players can come together and collaborate for a coherent approach.

We envision how public infrastructure like vegetable and fruit depots (mandis in Hindi) could act as physical spaces which enable collaborations and catalyse a city-wide locavorian culture movement.


More than 50% of global population now lives in urban areas. Population in Delhi is expected to cross 35 million and food demand is expected to rise two-folds.

The consumption paradox
It takes 10 calories of fossi fuel energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food

Degrading nutrition content
Use of chemical and pesticides lead to great loss of neccessary nutrition value in food grown in croplands

Shortage of cropland
It takes 0.25 ha to feed each person. Yet by 2050, the amount of avaiable cropland is projected to drop to less than 0.1 ha per person due to continued population growth and loss of cropland.

Food wastage
From growing in fields to reaching our table, around 40% food gets wasted due to different factors.

Existing food system

Where do we stand in local food production?

As many major insitutions progressively research and work towards better food production practices and technologies, various organisations and businesses have emerged — encouraging and engaging people in local food production.

The city needs a physical space to act as a seed facility working towards mass adoption of locavorian culture. Food wholesale markets (Mandi) within cities have great potential of playing a pivotal role in urban farming ecosystem because of its proximities with people & communities and availability of business resources.

Mandi as an interface

As the interface between the consumers and producer supply chain, vegetable markets in the city form an ideal space to start new overlaps between agriculture and urban life.
#1 Adaptive use of existing Mandi sites
#2 Future typologies for mandis

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