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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 621: XXVI International Horticultural Congress: Horticultural Science in Emerging Economies, Issues and Constraints

THE ROLE OF HORTICULTURE: ISSUES, OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS

Authors:   R.O.M. Mwanga, M. Cloete
Keywords:   Orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, traditional vegetables, Vitamin A deficiency, differentiated markets, supply chains, competitive advantage
Abstract:
The world’s population is projected at 9 billion by the year 2030. Most of the increase in population will be in developing countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, where chronic food shortages and malnutrition persist. Horticulture is underdeveloped in most African countries. The regions food priorities can be addressed by focusing attention on important horticultural crops and critical issues. Key issues include, food shortage, distribution, nutrition, competitive advantage of individual countries or regions, local and export marketing constraints, and industry strategic planning involving policy, institutional and technological innovations. This paper highlights the great potential of horticultural crops in alleviating food shortage and malnutrition in Africa, constraints, and the need to include nutrition education on agricultural research agendas. To compete in the export markets African countries need to produce horticultural crops or processed products that meet the export market standards, including specifications in importing countries, timely delivery, ample steady supply, grading, packaging, contracts or agreements to build trust, and good quality of product at arrival in the export market. The export marketing constraints and challenges, including poor communication system, lack of market infrastructure, agro-processing plants, marketing credit, proper market organization, proper pricing, uniform grading and standardization of weights and measures; inadequate and poor dissemination of market information, poor post harvest handling and low productivity. Opportunities for the horticultural industry in Africa, such as the development of indigenous vegetables, and orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, and the use of plant biotechnology, are also discussed.
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