PCF5:Horticulture for health: the knowledge management platform Hort-e aims at filling gaps between nutrition requirements, good practices and public awareness

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Title: Horticulture for health: The knowledge management platform, The GlobalHort Portal, aims at filling the gaps between nutrition requirements, good practices and public awareness
Contributor: Jerry Miner
Organisation: GlobalHort Initiative

The evidence for the role of consuming at least 400 grams daily of fruit and vegetables (F&V) in reducing risk of chronic disease like diabetes type II, anaemia, obesity, heart disease and even HIV/AIDS is increasingly clear. Yet despite efforts on many fronts, F&V intake for all age groups remains well below the recommended minimum. Several reasons for this trend have been identified, amongst them price, perishability, but also social behaviour, low confidence on food safety and high pressure of agri-food industry.

It is assumed that raising the awareness of the population is not enough to make a clear jump in the consumption of fruits and vegetables: targeting key actors along the horticultural value chain should have a rather stronger impact, involving together production, consumption and education sectors. This global vision is carried out through the [F&V for Health FAO-WHO initiative][1], and [GlobalHort][2] intends to promote and facilitate it in developing a knowledge management platform, The GlobalHort Portal.

The GlobalHort Portal is based on several principles:

  1. the largest access to the most focussed information in horticulture and horticultural products,
  2. the development of sub-regional and autonomous innovation centres in horticulture, where documentation, training, technical information exchange, education and research for development projects are gathered and attractive,
  3. the public-private partnership, due to the huge number of small scale entrepreneurs and market opportunities in the horticultural sector, and to the need to preserve any type of diversity, nutritional, cultural, ecological.

The GlobalHort Portal facilitates access to the nutritional value of traditional food (Infoods, AVRDC, PROTA databases), convinces FAO to revise their statistics (taking into account traditional food and informal markets), assesses the real needs in training of private companies, reviews and connects resources for capacity building, stimulates producers to chose for sustainable practices and decision makers to encourage high quality production and higher consumption of the locally/regionally produced F&V.


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