P. Juroszek, T.A. Lumpkin, M.C. Palada
Vegetables are a rich source of many essential micronutrients and health-related phytochemicals. Vegetable production provides jobs and supports agribusiness, thereby creating economic opportunities. Many vegetable production systems, however, are not sustainable over the long-term. For example, some systems are rapidly degrading the environment due to intense applications of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, often leading to food contamination and groundwater pollution and contributing to soil erosion. By definition a Sustainable Vegetable Production System (SVPS) should meet the needs of present as well as future generations. Approaches used should not be harmful to the health of farmers nor consumers and should ultimately lead to a reduced impact of agriculture on the environment. This includes the conservation and careful use of resources such as high-grade rock phosphate that may be depleted over a 60-90 year period. The use of agricultural inputs such as mineral fertilizers is highly inefficient at the current time, although there are innovative technologies available. An example of these innovations is starter solution for vegetable production which can reduce the use of inorganic fertilizers by as much as 50% while maintaining crop yield and quality. Integrated systematic efforts from a local to international level are needed to solve these problems and implement changes for sustainability in vegetable production systems.
Juroszek, P., Lumpkin, T.A. and Palada, M.C. (2008). SUSTAINABLE VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS . Acta Hortic. 767, 133-150
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.767.13
IPM, ICPM, organic, GM, phosphate, low-input, cultivars, biopesticides

Acta Horticulturae