|Authors: ||D. Virchow, C. Husmann, J.D.H. Keatinge|
|Keywords: ||horticulture, malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, socioeconomic development, empowering women|
The “triple burden” of hunger, overconsumption, and micronutrient deficiency is steadily worsening in both low-income and high-income countries and among different population groups within countries, causing high social and economic costs.
Fruits and vegetables can contribute to the improvement of this situation as they are the most important sources of micronutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals essential for a balanced and healthy diet.
Horticulture can contribute to development by creating new on- and off-farm employment opportunities, as horticultural production and processing is more labor intensive than staple crop production.
Pre- and postharvest activities such as processing, washing, packing and labeling are often done by women, the landless, and other marginalized people who have few other job opportunities.
Horticultural production enables farmers to access new domestic and international markets.
Moreover, horticulture is usually more profitable than staple crop production, especially in situations where labor is abundant and land is scarce.
Thus, horticulture creates wealth through different channels and offers a promising opportunity to contribute to the reduction of poverty and the global challenge of addressing both hunger and obesity.
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