The importance of nutrition is still under-valued in the debate about ending hidden hunger/micro-nutrient deficiencies and poverty. This goes hand in hand with a marginalization of those crops that may have the most significant impact on the reduction of micronutrient deficiencies and obesity – fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh fruit and vegetables not only have the potential to improve micronutrient uptake of individuals, especially in low-income countries, but also to promote socio-economic development at an individual level, at the community level and even at a national level. The production of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, aromatic and medicinal crops, herbs and spices provide market opportunities and employment, especially for women and contribute to the protection and enrichment of biodiversity. With regard to both the direct and indirect benefits of the production, processing, marketing and consumption, horticulture contributes to the achievement of several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leading to the concept of ’Horticulture for Sustainable Development – H4SD‘. Despite these benefits, there are many constraints that prevent different actors from fully exploiting the potential of horticulture along the value chain. Smallholder producers in low-income countries face enumerable problems in their efforts to transact with the modern retail chains, food processors and manufacturers, and institutional buyers. Problems abound at every stage of the chain including production, harvesting, post-harvest handling, distribution and logistics and quality management. As consumers, especially those in Europe and North America, become more concerned about the safety of the foods that they consume and the manner in which this food has been produced, triple bottom line reporting now demands agribusiness enterprises to demonstrate more responsibility for the environment and social equity.
The potential benefits as well as the factors limiting the development of more sustainable horticultural enterprises in the low-income countries will be discussed. Papers will present evidence-based research results that demonstrate the potential of horticulture to contribute to sustainable development as well as to find solutions to overcome the various constraints. We shall welcome papers that discuss any one or more of the following themes:
- The impact of horticulture on the fight against poverty and hidden hunger in low-income countries through enabling micro-nutrient rich diets, generating employment and income as well as market opportunities
- The impact of horticulture on empowering disadvantaged groups in low-income countries, e.g., women, youth, indigenous people as well as the impact of horticulture on special challenges, e.g., urban agriculture, disaster relief and sustainable production and consumption patterns
- How to overcome economic constraints that prevent different actors from fully exploiting the potential of horticultural production, marketing, processing and consumption. Relevant issues include market information systems, supply chain management, export market development, competitive advantage, transport and logistics, packaging and branding, finance and infrastructure
- How to overcome social constraints that prevent different actors from fully exploiting the potential of horticultural production, marketing, processing and consumption. Relevant issues include power/dependence, trust and social capital, consumer sovereignty.
- How to overcome ecological constraints that prevent different actors from fully exploiting the potential of horticultural production, marketing, processing and consumption. Relevant issues include good agricultural practice and environmental stewardship.
- How to overcome institutional constraints that prevent different actors from fully exploiting the potential of horticultural production, marketing, processing and consumption. Relevant issues include quality management systems, food safety and integrity, grower cooperatives and alliances, post-harvest systems.
is the Executive Secretary of GlobalHort – The Global Horticulture Initiative and also serves as senior researcher and as the project coordinator for the “Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation – PARI” at the Center for Development Research – ZEF from the University of Bonn in Germany.
He holds a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from the University of Kiel and a Master’s degree in international agricultural development from the Technical University in Berlin. Read more…
Professor Linus Opara
is a Distinguished Professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, where holds the DST-NRF South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology.
He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, Honorary Vice President of the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Horticultural Science. Read more…
for almost 30 years, was Professor of Food and Agribusiness Marketing at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.
Today he is the Principal of Peter J Batt and Associates, an international agribusiness marketing and rural development consulting practice that links smallholder farmers in Asia and Africa to high value markets. Read more…