Innovations in agro-food sectors

Fruits and Vegetables

The role of the Fruits and Vegetables sector is of increasing relevance in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Amongst others, this sector’s significance is due to its economic potential and its relevance for women’s and young people’s employment. This Knowledge Portal topic refers to interesting knowledge products on the potential of the Fruits and Vegetables sector for food and nutrition security.

The Food & Business Knowledge Platform is also actively involved in this theme. Please take a look at the theme page on Fruit and Vegetables for the latest news, events, and our own publications.

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Horticultural exports – a threat or a boost to food security?
Published by Rural 21 Journal,
This article assesses the impact of horticultural exports on food security in the exporting country. Horticultural produce is mostly destined for high-income countries and it contributes to food intake there, however it is unclear what their food security consequences are in the countries of origin. In this article, a variety of direct and indirect effects of horticultural exports on food security in these exporting countries are discussed. »
Creating mutual benefits: examples of gender and biodiversity outcomes in horticultural activities
Published by Bioversity International,
This series of fact sheets features Bioversity International case studies with local NGOs and partners. These case studies illustrate successful outcomes in gender and biodiversity through the use of gender-specific research methods. Three of these factsheets take place in forest and agroforestry landscapes and have interesting lessons for horticultural activities. »
Community forum on employment creation in the horticulture sector in Kenya
Published by INCLUDE,
This report explains the key messages that emerged during the forum on ‘Employment creation in the horticulture sector in Kenya’. This forum was hosted by The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) in collaboration with the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE) to encourage the use of research evidence in the formulation of employment creation policies. The forum brought together 35 policy actors, practitioners and researchers. The report covers the features of the horticulture sub-sector, challenges for job creation and strategies to improve employment creation in the sub-sector in Kenya. »
The World Vegetable Center’s approach to household gardening for nutrition
Published by the World Vegetable Center,
Household gardens can help alleviate malnutrition in the developing world when they are linked to nutrition and health initiatives and local support systems. The World Vegetable Center’s strategy aims to address important gaps in the optimal design of household garden interventions. »
Vegetable diversification in cocoa-based farming systems Ghana
Published by Agriculture & Food Security Journal,
This study in the Agriculture & Food Security Journal assessed the extent of diversification of vegetables among farmers in Ghana’s cocoa belt and determined the factors that explain the variability in the diversification indices. It was found that marital status of the household head and total land endowment were the major determinants of diversification. »
Temperature sensitivity of food legumes: a physiological insight
Published by Acta Physiologiae Plantarum Journal,
This review in the Acta Physiologiae Plantarum Journal, describes the progress made towards the adverse effects of abnormal temperatures on various growth stages in legumes and propose appropriate strategies to resolve these effects. Of the various environmental stresses that a plant can experience, temperature has the widest and most far-reaching effects on legumes. »
How promoting consumption of traditional African vegetables affects household nutrition security in Tanzania
Published by Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems Journal,
This article in the Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems Journal studies how promoting of consumption of traditional African vegetables affects household nutrition security in Tanzania. The Good Seed Initiative (GSI) program promoted production and consumption of nutrient-dense traditional African vegetables in Arusha region in Tanzania to reduce malnutrition through diet diversification. The researchers estimated the impact of promotion activities on households, women, and children's dietary diversity. »
Nutrition-sensitive value chains: the case of vegetables in Yayu biosphere reserve, Ethiopia
Published by PROIntenseAfrica,
This report by PROIntenseAfrica provides advice on and prospects of the sustainable intensification of the value chains of different fruits and vegetables in Ethiopia and the potential impacts on the various stakeholders. There is growing recognition of the emergence of a “triple burden” of malnutrition with hunger, overconsumption, and micronutrient deficiency (“hidden hunger”) occurring simultaneously among low-income countries. »
Impact and cost-effectiveness of women’s training in home gardening and nutrition in Bangladesh
Published by Journal of Development Effectiveness,
This study in the Journal of Development Effectiveness quantifies the impact and cost-effectiveness of training poor rural women in Bangladesh in home gardening and nutrition. It was found that the intervention significantly increased vegetable production, vegetable consumption and the micronutrient supply from the garden. »
Assessment of traditional African vegetable production in Burkina Faso
Published by Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development,
Lack of dietary diversity is a key causal factor of malnutrition in Burkina Faso because the population consumes mostly cereals crops. Nutrient‐dense traditional African vegetables provide an excellent means to complement cereal staples for better nutrition, in particular for women and children, as well as for income generation. This study in the Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development characterized the production of traditional African vegetables in Burkina Faso based on a questionnaire administered to 250 respondents. »
Horticultural exports and food security in developing countries
Published by Global Food Security Journal,
This article in the Global Food Security Journal, reviews the channels through which horticultural exports affect food security in developing countries. The authors describe the trends in horticultural export chains and investigate the macro- and micro-level effects on the different components of food security, including availability, access, utilization and stability. »
Impact of nutritional perceptions of traditional African vegetables on farm household production decisions
Published by Experimental Agriculture Journal ,
This paper in the Experimental Agriculture Journal investigates the determinants and pathways for smallholder participation in traditional African vegetable production and identifies entry points for farmers to increase traditional vegetable production by linking nutritional awareness and promotion with potential high value markets. The results of this study provide evidence that farmers tend to grow more African traditional vegetables as compared to other crops based on their increased level of perception towards nutritional value of traditional vegetables along with other factors such as their market value, timely availability of quality certified seeds, willingness to invest in labour, required training for women and better access to credits. »
Policy and institutional frameworks impacting on vegetable seed production and distribution systems in Cameroon
Published by Journal of Crop Improvement ,
This article in the Journal of Crop Improvement assesses policy and institutional frameworks impacting on vegetable seed production and distribution systems to establish benchmark indicators for successful integration and/or diversification of vegetables into existing farming systems in the humid forest area of Cameroon. »
Determinants and welfare effects of smallholder participation in horticultural markets in Zambia
Published by African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
This article in the African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, examines smallholder participation in horticultural markets in Zambia, with two main questions in mind: 1) who participates in horticultural markets? and 2) how does participation affect household income and other welfare outcomes? »
Impact of export horticulture farming on per capita calorie intake of smallholder farmers in Eastern and Central Provinces in Kenya
Published by The International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics ,
In attempting to achieve household food security for smallholder farmers, synergies and tradeoffs exist between cash cropping, food cropping and food security. Available evidence on the impact of cash cropping on food security shows mixed results. The objective of this paper was to assess the impact of export horticulture farming on food security of smallholder farmers in Kenya in two provinces in different agro-ecological zones with different resource and infrastructural endowments, crop growing and marketing conditions. »
Biodegradable mulch – a solution for small-scale horticulture?
Published by The international journal Rural 21,
This article in The international journal Rural 21, focusses on the use of  a biodegradable alternative to polyethylene sheeting. Polyethylene sheeting is widely used in vegetable growing to create optimum mulch conditions for seedlings. It helps to control weeds, conserves soil moisture and increases soil temperature which generally has a positive effect on vegetable yield and quality. However, »
Can smallholder fruit and vegetable production systems improve household food security and nutritional status of women? Evidence from rural Uganda
Published by N. Kabunga, S. Ghosh and J.K. Griffiths,
This paper by Nassul Kabunga, Shibani Ghosh and Jeffrey K. Griffiths, aims to empirically infer potential causal linkages between fruit and vegetable (F&V) production, individual F&V intake, household food security, and anemia levels for individual women caregivers of childbearing age. Using a unique and rich dataset collected from rural smallholder Ugandan households, the authors show that the use of a qualitative tool to measure household food insecurity is robust and applicable in other contexts. »
African leafy vegetables: a nutritious income source in Benin
Published by Biodiversity International,
This video ‘L’importance des legumes locaux – The importance of local vegetables’ (in French with English subtitles) on Biodiversity International explains about traditional leafy vegetables in Benin tells us about their important nutritional benefits and how they are grown, bought and sold in local food systems. Furthermore, the video highlights the contribution that these vegetables make to the livelihoods of farmers, market vendors, delivery service providers and other members of the vegetable value chain. »
Analysis of participation of women in horticultural activities
Published by Journal of Business Management & Social Sciences Research,
This article investigates the involvement of rural women in various horticultural activities. A survey was conducted with 300 respondents of six villages of two districts of Odisha. The present study concludes that women play a significant and crucial role in production of various horticultural crops. Participation of women was higher in various production and post production activities of vegetables than of fruits and flowers. »
Report of INCLUDE’s working conference on building policy-knowledge communities on ‘productive employment in horticultural value chains’
Published by INCLUDE platform,
To build policy-knowledge communities in Africa, the Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies (INCLUDE) organised a two-day working conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference, held on 11-12 May 2015, brought together about 70 policy stakeholders, including Platform members, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from international development organisations and NGOs from Africa and beyond. A policy-knowledge communities... »
Women’s Empowerment in Rwanda: Evaluation of women’s economic leadership through horticulture planting material business
Published by Oxfam,
This report by Oxfam, documents the findings of a quasi-experimental evaluation carried out in March 2014 that sought to assess the impact of the activities of the ‘Women’s Economic Leadership through Horticulture Planting-Material Business’ project. This project was implemented in four districts of Rwanda by Oxfam in partnership with Duterimbere, a local organization, between 2011 and 2014. »
Fruit consumption and production: habits, preferences and attitudes of rural households in Western Kenya
Published by Bioversity International & the World Agroforestry Centre,
Currently, fruit consumption in Eastern Africa is far below recommended allowances and has implications for micronutrient malnutrition while little is known about the patterns and determinants of fruit production, consumption and marketing. The main research question of this paper (PDF) by Bioversity International and the World Agroforestry Centre was therefore: what are key trends in gender-disaggregated preferences, attitudes and decision-making processes of rural households for fruit consumption, production, and income generated from this activity? »
Export horticulture – empowering female small-scale farmers in Kenya?
Published by The Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin ,
This paper in the Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin is the outcome of a study on the international partner project “Changing Gender Roles in Sub-Saharan Horticultural Family Farming” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. A qualitative case study was carried out to understand the impacts on gender inequality of the integration of horticultural smallholdings into the fresh fruit and vegetable (FFV) supply chain to the European market. »
Picking the fruits: Making horticulture sector development in emerging economies more successful
Published by Advance Consulting BV,
The purpose of this paper is to support policy makers, development practitioners and private companies with some guidelines for the design and implementation of successful horticulture development strategies. This discussion paper aims to provide some answers to these key questions: (a) How to assess the business case for horticultural growth and development in an emerging economy? (b) What are feasible options for inclusive growth in different horticultural supply chain arrangements? (c) What sort of external (public) support is required and justifiable to achieve inclusive growth and development? »
How does the fruit and vegetable sector contribute to food and nutrition security?
Published by LEI, F&BKP,
This explorative study looked at the potential of the fruit & vegetable sector for Food and Nutrition Security (FNS). The methodology consisted of a focused literature review mainly concentrated on the following countries: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Indonesia and Vietnam; and semi-structured interviews amongst different growers, traders and workers in the Ethiopian fruit and vegetable sector. The development of the fruits & vegetables sector in developing countries has a positive impact on the FNS of the people engaged in the sector and for urban and rural consumers. »
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