Many developing countries are facing the problems of decelerated agricultural growth at macro level coupled with falling real prices of farm products, and contributing declining share to GDP without any considerable shift of population from agriculture to non-agricultural sector. Added to these problems is the problem of depleting and degrading natural base for farming, threatening the very livelihood security of a majority of subsistence farmers. The farming industry is getting unremunerative in many countries of the developing world.
In India, the policies and programmes designed and implemented in farming sector have not addressed the problems of agricultural sector either. The failures of identifying right growth priorities within farming sector, and design and implementation of appropriate agricultural development policies and programmes have culminated in farmer’s distress. At this juncture horticultural crops are new hope in providing economic security and further growth.
It is imperative for the developing world with about 815 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition to realize that the production and consumption of horticultural products could play a key role in providing nutrition and health security to the people. Further, given the high degree of agricultural development segmentation with a small percentage of commercial farmers and a great majority of subsistence farmers, horticultural development could provide an opportunity to bring the subsistence and bypass farmers into the development orbit; if the appropriate technological, institutional and policy designs are identified and implemented.
The Conference is designed to provide a common forum for all stake holders to share their experience and expertise so as to suggest much needed technology-institution-policy package for sustainable production and marketing of horticultural products to augment employment-income generation to ensure livelihood security of the subsistence farmers without further depleting and degrading the natural resource base.
The objective of the Conference is to identify key factors and elements influencing the sustainability of horticulture sector in developing countries and suggest remedial measures to issues and problems confronting this in achieving livelihood security and increased economic growth, through participatory dialogues, exchange of knowledge, genetic materials and human resources among all the stake holders.
The main Theme Areas identified for the Conference are as follows:I. Technological Domain :
II. Institutional and Policy Support: Socio - Economic Domains:
III. Producer- Consumer’s Domain:
IV. Opportunities and Future Thrusts.
V. Technological Cooperation Among Developing Countries (TCDC) - including VEGINET.