J. Silva Dias
Vegetables are vital to the general good health of human beings, providing essential vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals, and reducing risk from dangerous diseases and other medical conditions. Vegetables are grown world-wide in almost 200 countries. A world vegetable survey indicated 392 vegetable crops cultivated worldwide. Most of the vegetables are marketed fresh with only a small portion processed.
Almost three-fourths of the world’s production of vegetables occurs in Asia, mostly in China, which produces over half of the world’s vegetables. The area of world land devoted to vegetables has been increasing due to the potential income value from vegetables. Commercial vegetable production is a high input and labor-intensive activity that needs a large labor force, from cultivation to processing, including hiring of non-family members and a much greater reliance on humans in the production, processing, and marketing phases.
Vegetable consumption is also rising, reflecting the consumer’s increased income, desire for diversity, and awareness of nutritional benefits. At the same time, consumers have a rising concern with product safety issues. Traditional marketing practices are giving way in developing countries to the more modern practices of the developed countries: supermarkets, long-distance shipping, international marketing, various processing and packaging practices, safety and quality standards, constant product supply, and product diversity. These changes have increased pressure on traditional, small, and poor farmers to keep up, with the requirements of good seed, efficient practices, hiring help beyond the family, market awareness, and the ability to provide safe and high quality vegetables.
The expanded commercialized production of vegetables in the developing countries has also led to challenges and difficulties. A small farmer, in order to develop a more commercial operation, needs capital for improved seeds, hired labor, and equipment, in order to remain a reliable supplier. He must be able to supply a consistent flow of vegetables that are high quality and free of pesticide residues. New strategies for production and marketing have been required. Production of vegetables is more profitable than traditional cereal production, but it requires more knowledge, more capital, more acceptance of risk, and new methods.
Silva Dias, J. (2011). WORLD IMPORTANCE, MARKETING AND TRADING OF VEGETABLES . Acta Hortic. 921, 153-169
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.921.18
production, consumption, social importance, marketing, trading

Acta Horticulturae