Horticulture for sustainable development: evidence for impact of international vegetable research and development
The world has made strides in reducing hunger and protein malnutrition but considerable progress is required to reduce micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) malnutrition, which is estimated to affect the health of up to two billion people. This need is recognized in UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) NDASH End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. To this end, research and development institutions such as the Global Horticultural Initiative (GHI) and the World Vegetable Center have embraced the concept of Horticulture for Sustainable Development (H4sD) with the aim of reducing micronutrient deficiency through the increased production and consumption of fruit and vegetables. Increased fruit and vegetable production brings many other benefits to people, such as enhanced income for smallholder farmers and other value chain participants, employment opportunities throughout the value chain, empowerment of women, and more sustainable agriculture when it is incorporated as part of an agricultural diversification program. Thus, fruit and vegetable horticulture has great potential to contribute directly to several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 2 (Zero hunger) and SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production). This paper showcases recent evidence for the impact of international vegetable research and development done by the World Vegetable Center in collaboration with its partners, notably those in the GHI and in the public and private sectors. It highlights the impact of three major areas of the CenterRSQUOs work: breeding improved lines of globally important and traditional niche vegetables; developing improved production technologies, such as those aimed at off-season vegetable production; and training poor rural women in household gardening and nutrition. The paper ends with a discussion of challenges and priorities for increasing the medium and long-term impact of international vegetable research and development.
Keatinge, J.D.H., Virchow, D. and Schreinemachers, P. (2018). Horticulture for sustainable development: evidence for impact of international vegetable research and development. Acta Hortic. 1205, 179-190