Horticultural crop production is an engine for economic growth – it creates jobs, supports agri-businesses and generates income to a greater degree than any other agricultural crop.
While generating new economic opportunities, horticulture can diversify cropping systems, reduce pesticide misuse, and conserve soil and water.
Value-addition to horticultural crops generates further employment in the associated agri-businesses and further down the commodity chain from the producer to the consumer.
Horticultural crops provide micronutrients that are essential, yet lacking in the diets of billions of poor people today, and also nutraceuticals that promote health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are the most sustainable and affordable sources of micronutrients in diets.
Horticulture is unique in that it directly addresses poverty and food security issues in both urban and rural areas of the developing world. A strengthened horticultural sector can have a positive impact on all UN Millennium Development Goals and on many aspects of the UNPost-2015 Development Agenda.