Horticultural production: Causing land
degradation or enhancing resilience?
Detlef Virchow
GlobalHort – The Global Horticu...
Outline
• Horticulture as part of the high-value segment
• Horticulture enhances resilience
• Environmental misuse in hort...
Horticulture is part of the high-value segment
• Horticulture: fruits and vegetables
(& herbs and spices, cut flowers and ...
• Importance / production of HVCs has increased
(esp. in developing countries)
• export (high productive and efficient)
• ...
Resilience and horticultural production
• “Resilience is the capacity of individuals and groups to anticipate,
prevent, ad...
Horticulture enhances resilience for the
producers and the local economy
1. HORTICULTURE IMPROVES HEALTH:
“hidden hunger” ...
Blessing and curse of high value crops
• Blessing of HVCs:
• adaptability in production
• stimulation for development (H4D...
Pesticide misuse in horticultural production I
Pest pressure in horticulture is high! - However, pesticides are
misused:
•...
Pesticide misuse in horticultural production II
• One example for excessive use (van der Velden et al. 2004):
average Thai...
Pesticide misuse in horticultural production III
• Pesticides compensating for missing knowledge
• Weak regulations for pe...
Fertilizer misuse in horticultural production
Excessive use of (animal manures and chemical) fertilizers in vegetable
fiel...
Land and water misuse in horticultural production
• Positive effects on land and water through horticultural production:
•...
What to do - to maintain the natural resources and to reap the
benefits of increased resilience through horticultural prod...
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Horticultural production: Causing land degradation or enhancing resilience?

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May 15 in Side Event "Building Resilience for the Poor Through Sustainable Land Management". Presented by Detlef Virchow, ZEF.

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Horticultural production: Causing land degradation or enhancing resilience?

  1. 1. Horticultural production: Causing land degradation or enhancing resilience? Detlef Virchow GlobalHort – The Global Horticulture Initiative ZEF – Center for Development Research Building resilience of the poor through sustainable land management Addis Ababa May 15, 2014
  2. 2. Outline • Horticulture as part of the high-value segment • Horticulture enhances resilience • Environmental misuse in horticultural production • What to do? 2
  3. 3. Horticulture is part of the high-value segment • Horticulture: fruits and vegetables (& herbs and spices, cut flowers and ornamental plants etc.) • High Value Crops (HVCs): • have higher net return per unit of land (compared to staples or other widely grown crops) • are highly responsive to constant and careful cultivation, handling & monitoring • are typically perishable • cultivated by small to large-scale enterprises High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  3
  4. 4. • Importance / production of HVCs has increased (esp. in developing countries) • export (high productive and efficient) • domestic (less productive and efficient) • Relative profitability stimulates crop diversification into horticultural production esp. where arable land is scarce and/or labor abundant and (input & output) markets accessible (e.g., in India - Joshi et al. 2003) • Plus demand-driven process (more consumers with higher income, urbanization, changing preferences) • High value but also high production costs & risks! High value crops are on the rise High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  4
  5. 5. Resilience and horticultural production • “Resilience is the capacity of individuals and groups to anticipate, prevent, adapt to, cope with, and recover from shocks and stressors. Resilient individuals, groups, or communities tend to share the characteristics of having sufficient physical, financial, human, and social assets to absorb, adapt to, and transform shocks.“ von Braun and Thorat 2014 • Land / soil = crucial asset! • Horticulture can increase value of land / soil + enhance resilience of farmers (+ local economy) High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  5
  6. 6. Horticulture enhances resilience for the producers and the local economy 1. HORTICULTURE IMPROVES HEALTH: “hidden hunger” can be addressed with a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables 2. HORTICULTURE CREATES WEALTH: Smallholder horticulture is a powerful tool for alleviating rural poverty 3. HORTICULTURE CREATES EMPLOYMENT & NEW MARKET OPPORTUNITIES: production  processing: employment & market opportunities are greatly multiplied 4. HORTICULTURE EMPOWERS WOMEN: production  processing: women can become entrepreneurs & income serves household (e.g., education of girls) 5. HORTICULTURE PROTECTS AND IMPROVES NATURAL RESOURCES: the largest pool of plant genetic resources; improves soil structure 6. HORTICULTURE SECURES LIFE AFTER DISASTER High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  6
  7. 7. Blessing and curse of high value crops • Blessing of HVCs: • adaptability in production • stimulation for development (H4D)  resilience • Curse of HVCs: High value can lead to misuse of: • pesticides • fertilizer • land and water  land degradation High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  7
  8. 8. Pesticide misuse in horticultural production I Pest pressure in horticulture is high! - However, pesticides are misused: • Excessive and prophylactical applications of pesticides instead of IPM approach (esp. in urban/peri-urban hort.prod. & cut flowers and greenhouse vegetables): • up to 80% of the applied pesticide quantity is used in excess of the optimum  “overuse” (Grovermann et al. 2013) • use of generic pesticides of doubtful quality (e.g., pesticides for cotton) • banned pesticides (for general agriculture use) • pesticide “cocktails” • broad-spectrum pesticides rather than target-specific ones • regulated waiting period before harvest not observed High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  8
  9. 9. Pesticide misuse in horticultural production II • One example for excessive use (van der Velden et al. 2004): average Thai farmer’s pesticide use in greenhouse / plastic insect screens and fertigation: • 3 x as much active ingredients per ton of bell peppers as the average Spanish farmer • 52 x as much as the average Dutch farmer (for tomatoes: 21 x) • Farmers: • no official training on pesticides (information from other farmers) • do not read information available on pesticide label • do not use personal protective equipment • throw pesticide container anywhere after using it • are not able to identify the pests and diseases Sources: Shrestha et al. 2010; Weinberger and Srinivasan 2009; Abang et al. 2013; Karim 2009; Schreinemachers et al. 2011 ; van der Velden et al. 2004; van Hoi et al. 2009; Grovermann et al. 2013; Schreinemachers and Tipraqsa 2012 High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  9
  10. 10. Pesticide misuse in horticultural production III • Pesticides compensating for missing knowledge • Weak regulations for pesticides procedures • Large variation in pesticide use!  Manifold misuse of pesticides with effects on:  human health  agro-ecosystems (e.g., resistances; beneficial insects; "secondary" pests – “pesticide treadmill”)  the wider environment (e.g., non-target species, landscapes and communities)  indirect effects (long term effects and recovery, ecological benefits)  Costs of misuse?  Land degradation = resilience at risk! High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  10
  11. 11. Fertilizer misuse in horticultural production Excessive use of (animal manures and chemical) fertilizers in vegetable fields leads to production and environmental challenges: • Excessive use of N fertilizer:  accelerated water pollution problems • Excessive use of P fertilizer: accumulation of P in soil: may lead to chemical and biological imbalances in the soil, some resulting from the loss of mycorrhizal activity  water pollution with P:  eutrophication: over-production of algae  reduced oxygen in water  decreases in water quality  critical for fish • Estimated costs of eutrophication of inland waters: • 3 billion US$/year in the USA (Dodds 2009) • 200 – 300 million UK£/year in England and Wales (Pretty 2002) High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  11
  12. 12. Land and water misuse in horticultural production • Positive effects on land and water through horticultural production: • better efficiency in water use and in the use and conservation of natural resources • improvement of soil and soil structure (esp. through legumes) • afforestation through horticulture (fruit trees) • Negative effects on land and water through horticultural production: • peri-urban horticulture may lead to further urbanization  reduction of good agricultural land, esp. horticultural land • contamination of soil and water: • pesticide over-use ultimately contaminates the surrounding (top-) soil and (ground and surface run-off) water destroy harmful insects, but also destroy useful topsoil microbes, which eventually reduce the biological nutrient replenishment of the soil • residues of (sewage water) irrigation: heavy metals & microbial contamination High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  12
  13. 13. What to do - to maintain the natural resources and to reap the benefits of increased resilience through horticultural production? • Need for awareness, education and training: • on the uses of pesticides and fertilizers • in the identification of pests, natural enemies, basic ecology, and integrated pest management strategies • Institutional needs: • improving cooperation between government regulatory agencies, producers & consumers associations, development organizations • gradually restricting the supply of highly hazardous pesticides • removing inexpensive pesticides (often high toxicity) from the market • effective monitoring program for pesticide residues in horticultural produce (food safety standards) Sources: Schreinemachers et al. 2011; van Hoi et al. 2009; Obreza and Sartain 2010; Shrestha et al. 2010 High value  Resilience  Environmental misuse  What to do  13
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