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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.

Farmers, traders and international companies invest in fruits and vegetables production and value chains, while their partners in government, academia and civil society support them. The Dutch Fruits and Vegetables sector is considered a key global player with its broad expertise and experience in cultivation, handling and trade, with growing investments in Africa and Asia. Simultaneously, there is a lack of systematic research about this sector’s potential in food and nutrition security. The Food & Business Knowledge Platform has noticed a clear interest from private and public stakeholders in furthering knowledge sharing about this relationship. The particular role of the Platform is to deepen the understanding of how the Fruits and Vegetables sector could proactively make the Dutch ‘Aid, Trade, and Investment’ agenda work in ending hunger and promoting access to safe and nutritious food all year round.

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Explorative study Fruits and Vegetables

The Food & Business Knowledge Platform in collaboration with TopSector Horticulture and Starting Materials commissioned LEI/WUR to conduct a study to explore this theme. This resulted in the recently published document,  ‘How does the fruit and vegetable sector contribute to food and nutrition security?’. The study revealed that the development of the Fruits and Vegetable sector in developing countries has had a positive impact on the food and nutrition security of the people engaged in the sector and for urban and rural consumers; while it differentiated between the different forms of employment the sector offers and the variety of opportunities for growers and workers to benefit from. The study also gave an overview of different interventions in horticultural value chains and the different ways they impact employment and income, as well as on consumption patterns and nutrition.

Knowledge agenda Fruits and Vegetables

This thematic page on the Food & Business Knowledge Platform’s website will support further knowledge sharing and debate on the potential of the Fruits and Vegetables sector for food and nutrition security. The explorative study and expert meeting in early 2015 generated a list of potential knowledge questions that deserve further exchange, including:

Which different types of interventions in the Fruits and Vegetables sector should be considered in working towards food and nutrition security? What is the quality and effectiveness of these interventions and which Theories of Change are used?

  • Do the employment opportunities for women in this sector contribute to more gender equality?
  • What are the lessons learned about the production of fruits and vegetables?
  • What are the lessons learned about the fruits and vegetables value chain?
  • What are the most effective strategies for including increasing numbers of smallholder producers in supplying the growing high-value domestic fruits and vegetables markets in developing economies (and those that particularly affect female growers and farm workers and youth)?
  • Do interventions in the Fruits and Vegetables sector lead to dietary changes and improved nutrition?

The role of the Platform

The Food & Business Knowledge Platform offers a platform for further knowledge sharing and debate for different stakeholders with an interest in this sector. Within the Platform, they continue the exchange of knowledge about their practice in the Fruits and Vegetables sector in LMICs in order to achieve the following objectives:

  • Building a joint knowledge base on the potential of horticulture for food and nutrition security based on relevant experiences of key stakeholders.
  • Formulate what knowledge is missing and where further research is needed.
  • Contribute to improved ‘daily’ practice of companies, NGOs, governmental programmes, multi-stakeholder partnerships and – indirectly – to the practice of farmers, workers, traders in fruit and vegetable value chains. This is expected to help when addressing practical obstacles they might encounter.
  • Contribute to the policy process of the Dutch government, private sector, and NGOs in order to improve on the frameworks used for programme decisions.
Recent Fruits and Vegetables articles
Towards an innovative and inclusive horticulture market in Kenya
July 21, 2017Knowledge activity
Towards an innovative and inclusive horticulture market in Kenya
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Fruits and Vegetables

The hortIMPACT program combines Kenyan and Dutch private sector expertise and social impact solutions to build sustainable, inclusive domestic and export horticulture markets in Kenya. This article summarizes the insights and reflections from a visit to one of the hortIMPACT business cases, a farm in Gilgil, Kenya. The farmer grows a variety of green leafy »

Promoting Innovation and Trade in Horticulture in East Africa
December 17, 2015Knowledge activity
Promoting Innovation and Trade in Horticulture in East Africa
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Fruits and Vegetables

From November 25 to 27, a big regional horticulture event took place in Kigali consisting of a three-day horticultural exhibition at the PSF Expo Grounds, combined with a two-day conference about Innovation and Trade in Horticulture. A Business Innovation Competition took place during the event as well. »

Ministries discuss Fruits and Vegetables Sector potential
December 15, 2015Knowledge activity
Ministries discuss Fruits and Vegetables Sector potential
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Fruits and Vegetables

Late September 2015, an internal discussion meeting took place with about 20 representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs and a few related institutions, about the findings of the LEI Wageningen UR report on the potential of the Fruits and Vegetables Sector for Food and Nutrition Security. »

Fruits and vegetables export as a vehicle to link agriculture and nutrition
December 2, 2015Knowledge activity
Fruits and vegetables export as a vehicle to link agriculture and nutrition
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Nutrition Security

A brief report on the action-oriented discussion event of October 30, 2015, organized by NGWN, F&BKP and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs. The meeting forms part of a series of events to scale up Dutch efforts towards achieving nutrition security. »

How does the Fruit and Vegetable Sector in low- and middle-income countries contribute to Food and Nutrition Security?
July 2, 2015Study
How does the Fruit and Vegetable Sector in low- and middle-income countries contribute to Food and Nutrition Security?
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Fruits and Vegetables

A short study focused on the question of whether and to what extent investments, interventions and the development of the Fruits & Vegetables Sector in developing countries contribute to enhanced food and nutrition security. »

Expert discussion about Fruits & Vegetables and Food & Nutrition Security
April 2, 2015Knowledge activity
Expert discussion about Fruits & Vegetables and Food & Nutrition Security
By: Nicole Metz Theme: Fruits and Vegetables

The preliminary results of the report “How does the Fruit and Vegetable Sector contribute to Food and Nutrition Security?” by LEI-Wageningen UR (LEI-WUR) were discussed during a meeting in early March 2015, facilitated by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform and hosted by ‘TopSector’ Horticulture and Starting Materials. The participants were 15 experts from knowledge »

Experiences from the Kenyan Horticulture and Food Security Program
February 25, 2015News
Experiences from the Kenyan Horticulture and Food Security Program
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Fruits and Vegetables

Over the past three years the Kenyan Horticulture and Food Security Program (HFSP) has aimed to provide smallholder farmers access to quality seeds, to offer training in good agricultural practices and to improve linkages to markets. ‘The program has helped farmers to come and work together; we can now control the prices as well as »

The Food & Nutrition Security potential of Fruits and Vegetables
February 3, 2015News
The Food & Nutrition Security potential of Fruits and Vegetables
By: Nicole Metz Theme: Fruits and Vegetables

The F&BKP has contracted LEI-Wageningen UR for a desk study on fruits and vegetables, in close collaboration with TopSector TU. The study is expected to provide an overview of research-based and other relevant literature; build on the information and opportunities aggregated in the discussion paper “Picking the fruits“; and test the assumption that the ‘development’ »