Sep 2021 – Healthy Horticulture

In most of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, over 80 percent of the fruit and vegetables are grown on small farms in the rural areas. Small-scale farmers often grow horticultural produce in their backyards or kitchen gardens for their own consumption or to share with friends and neighbours. Some of them follow good practices for sustainable production like, resource recycling, crop rotations, use of biologicals, integrated pest management etc.

Many of the small-scale producers, also called as peri-urban farmers, are found in and around towns and cities too. They explore nearby urban markets. Also, of late there has been an increase in urban gardens, with the COVID-19 pandemic  highlighting the importance of local production.

More often, small farmers find it difficult to market their produce effectively. Many farmers rely on farmers collectives by getting organized into groups or entering into contract-farming arrangements with traders. The recent development has been in the form of digital solutions. While some farmers are able to make use of digital solutions, some are still unable to access.

Challenges at individual level are many. Every farmer has different combination of trees and crops, with different produce coming at different times. A sizeable proportion of the harvest is lost or wasted before it reaches consumers’ plates. Also, estimating market demand is another major challenge with gluts resulting in crashing of prices. Further, climate change is at play, making matters worse. Also, sustainable intensification of fruit and vegetable production calls for investment besides institutional, policy and technology support for minimising post harvest losses. Lets hope that The International Year of Fruits and Vegetables in 2021 provides an opportunity to promote healthy diets for adequate nutrition.

The September 2021 issue of LEISA India will look at ground experiences of how farmers are following agroecological approaches for safe production of fruits and vegetables. How are farmers able to meet the consumer demand and able to market efficiently? How are farmer coping with changing climatic conditions and its impact on horticulture produce? How are the farmers producer organisations helping farmers in realising better incomes? What are the technologies and digital solutions available to small farmers to earn decent incomes in horticulture?  What is the type of enabling mechanisms in terms of institutional and policy support are available to farmers?

Articles for the September 2021 issue of LEISA India should be sent to the editors before 10th August 2021 at

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