Indian Food Systems for Improved Nutrition (INFUSION)

an outdoor food market in India

The INFUSION project, led by the Institute for Sustainable Food at the University of Sheffield, began in December 2022 and is one of the Institute’s largest ever research projects. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the UK Government's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the project is running for five years until 2027. 

INFUSION seeks to improve understanding of the functioning of rural food markets from a nutrition perspective. It is establishing, testing and delivering evidence for market interventions that improve the availability and affordability of nutrient-dense foods (especially fruits, vegetables and animal-sourced foods) in rural communities in Bihar and Odisha in India.

Fruits and vegetables as well as animal source foods (e.g., eggs, milk, and fish) are two critical categories of foods from a nutrition and health perspective, and their intakes in many countries, including India, are far below recommended levels.

The majority of nutrient-dense foods consumed by rural households are sourced from food markets, but these markets face many difficulties in making these foods available in a reliable and affordable way. In addition, climate change poses a new set of challenges for these markets, especially as perishability and food losses are likely to worsen. INFUSION is seeking to build an evidence base on how these markets can be supported and strengthened to face these challenges.

A special feature of INFUSION is its strong emphasis on ‘co-design’ with policymakers. The proposed interventions are being developed in collaboration with key policy bodies, including the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (''JEEViKA''), to ensure direct relevance to policy.

Sheffield’s team for INFUSION includes Bhavani Shankar, Gregory Cooper, Anjali Purushottam, Martin Watts and Anne Hayes. Further details on the project can be found at