The global fruit and vegetable market is forecast to reach $2.8 billion by 2016, an increase of 79% from 2011 as consumers continue to demand products that are healthy, convenient and affordable. Meanwhile two billion people still suffer from micro-nutrient deficiencies, or hidden hunger, and would benefit from increased vegetable and fruit intake. This offers opportunities for smallholder farmers, however market access and commercial growth is constrained in a number of ways by poor food safety, post harvest losses and barriers to small-scale producers to access the value chain.

The purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables in developing countries is affected by heightened consumer concerns regarding pesticide residues. Post-harvest losses and poor storage also affect the supply of affordable quality fruit and vegetables. In addition a lack of business connections and financing, climate change impacts, restrictive regulatory environments, and insufficient access to information and technologies present barriers to inclusive market growth. SNV addresses food safety by implementing Integrated Pest Management for responsible crop protection, and improved farming practices such as GlobalGAP, and organic certification and traceability standards to ensure safe quality produce for consumers.

Addressing postharvest food losses reduce saleable market stock and income, can lead to higher consumer prices, and can impact adequate nutrition. We work across the value chain to minimise post-harvest losses and make waste worthwhile by introducing farmers and SME’s to best practices and technologies such as improved crop varieties, effective packaging, storage facilities, processing techniques and efficient transportation. SNV also develops all-season solutions through climate resilient techniques and technologies such as improved vegetable varieties, drip irrigation, simple tunnels, SNV supports farmers to prolong supply cycles and to produce off-season in an environmentally sustainable way.

For more information about our work in horticulture, please contact us via

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