Global Horticulture Assessment
The production of horticultural commodities offers potential to alleviate poverty, meet domestic human nutritional needs and stimulate growth in emerging economies of the world. Healthy people are more able to develop economic infrastructure and improve their standard of living. Horticultural crops–which include fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, medicinal plants and ornamentals–represent a wide range of species that can be grown in diverse agro-ecological zones over extended periods of the year. Integrating horticultural crops into diets can increase dietary diversity, thereby minimizing the potential loss of human cognitive and physical development that is a result of nutrient deficiencies. The introduction of horticultural crops increases the diversity of the production system, which promotes agricultural and ecological sustainability, while contributing to domestic food production. In September 2004, the University of California, and colleagues, initiated an in-depth, highly collaborative analysis of the opportunities and challenges for global horticultural development, the first study of its kind. A series of workshops brought together leading experts and key stakeholders to discuss the potential of horticulture to enhance the well being of developing countries and their peoples. The specific goal of the workshops was to develop the guidelines for implementation of a regional assessment project that will serve as a basis for USAID activities in this sector. Attendees of the workshops were leading development colleagues including: USAID-Washington, USDA, university horticultural scientists, ISHS, horticultural industry private sector representatives, NGO's and donor agencies. The concluding document, of these workshops was published as Scripta Horticulturae n° 3.
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