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.Read more
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.