FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: A NEGLECTED WEALTH IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

J. Ganry, F. Egal, M. Taylor
Although the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the developing world host a great diversity of fruit and vegetables, there is a low availability of these products for domestic markets and local consumption. Thus there is a high risk of what is commonly known as the “hidden hunger”, which includes nutrient deficiencies and non communicable diseases. Such a situation, coupled with the erosion of local cultures and indigenous knowledge, further contribute to the vicious circle which leads to poor health and environmental degradation.
More diverse and resilient local food systems – including the sustainable man-agement of local fruit and vegetable species - would make a significant contribution to improving diets and nutrition, and to local economic development. This is the case in the Pacific Islands. Many countries in the Pacific have a rich diversity of fruit, some unique to the Pacific, yet their poor utilization is a contributing factor to some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world.
To benefit from the nutritional and economic values of fruits and vegetables in developing countries, public policies should be created to promote availability and consumption of fruit and vegetables. A strong public-private multi-sectoral partner-ship at a local level, which involves all stakeholders in the value chain, is essential. Policy support must promote best practices and apply indigenous knowledge. As increasing urbanization is a challenge in many developing countries, partnerships must undertake the issue of perishable products and promote the importance of traditional products. Innovation is key to promoting and ensuring sustainable utiliza-tion of fruit and vegetables, which should be backstopped by appropriate research actions and capacity development.
Ganry, J., Egal, F. and Taylor, M. (2011). FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: A NEGLECTED WEALTH IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. Acta Hortic. 921, 105-109
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.921.12
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.921.12
fruit, vegetables, biodiversity, nutrition, health, income, developing countries, Pacific
English

Acta Horticulturae