Fruit and vegetables: opportunities and challenges for small-scale sustainable farming
Vitamin, mineral and fibre-rich, fruit and vegetables are vital for nutritious diets, and the sector contributes to increasing biodiversity and improving livelihoods. But it faces numerous challenges in production, transport and trade that lead to high prices, making fruit and vegetables inaccessible to many, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Fruit and vegetables are highly perishable products, which can result in loss and waste, and given that many are consumed raw or uncooked, they may also pose a risk for foodborne illnesses. Furthermore, inappropriate pest and disease management of crops can lead to food safety and trade risks due to pesticide contamination or pest introduction. The new publication, Fruit and Vegetables: opportunities and challenges for small-scale sustainable farming, offers guidance to small-scale farmers when starting-up or expanding fruit and vegetable production.