Valuable Vegetables: sharing insights from cross-country webinars to improve practice in the horticulture sector
A stronger horticulture sector in low- and middle-income countries is expected to contribute to opportunities for business, to create employment and income, and to help enhance Food and Nutrition Security and economic growth. The Netherlands has substantially invested in horticulture in LMICs over the last years: since 2009, at least 160 projects in 47 different countries were supported with a total value of €210 million of public investments. What have sector stakeholders learned from these experiences? And how could these lessons be used in the practice, to support effective horticulture sector transformation?
These were the leading questions for the Valuable Vegetables initiative which was facilitated by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform and AgriProFocus during 2020. In addition to several dynamic face-to-face interactions in several countries of East Africa, the initiative enabled the publication of an informative Synthesis Paper and the organization of a series of international webinars. The outcomes of two of these webinars are now available.
The exchanges generated a set of lessons that are expected to serve as reference for horticulture sector actors when planning their next investment or project. The lessons may help to reflect on possible improvements in the envisaged intervention strategies. They may also help Dutch Ministries or Embassies to incorporate new elements in their dialogues with future programme partners, particularly regarding approaches to enhance the inclusiveness or the sustainability of proposed interventions.
Further learning, research and innovation by sector stakeholders could build on the knowledge and insights generated in this initiative. The exploration for effective, possibly systemic, solutions for key challenges in horticulture will continue. In addition, sector stakeholders could consider developing or strengthening collaborative initiatives in areas that need (further) action. Netherlands Food Partnership will be facilitating the process to explore such opportunities for joint action, as of January 2021.
We recommend horticulture sector stakeholders to read and download the materials mentioned here::
- Insights from the webinar held September 3, 2020 “Food Safety on your Plate. Lessons learned and innovative solutions for improving food safety of fresh vegetables and fruits for both export and domestic markets.” Highlights and Full report.
- Insights from the webinar held September 17, 2020: “Inclusiveness in Dutch funded horticulture sector programmes” Highlights and Full report.
- Upcoming – Insights from the webinar held October 8, 2020: “Sustaining project impact. Lessons learned from Dutch public investments in the horticulture sector 2010-2019” (report will follow in January 2021 on the NFP website).
- “Key findings and lessons from Dutch publicly funded horticulture initiatives in low- and middle-income countries. Valuable Vegetables Synthesis Paper.“ Summary article, Full report and the Project database used in the Synthesis Study (overview of 160 horticulture initiatives).