We’re #2!

The World Vegetable Center and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force.

Over the next fifteen years, these goals will guide countries and organizations in mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change.

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further. They call for action by all to promote prosperity and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities while protecting the planet.

Although our activities encompass 12 of the 17 goals, the World Vegetable Center is most dedicated to achieving SGD #2: Zero Hunger. Here’s how:

  • People everywhere need balanced diets that provide sufficient macro- and micronutrients. The World Vegetable Center strives to improve vegetable value chains in developing countries to ensure people can obtain a diversity of vegetables with the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals needed for good health. The Center sets up innovation platforms that bring together all actors in the value chain—from producers and traders to policymakers and consumers—to help farmers tap into markets and ensure those markets can function to meet consumer demand for fresh, wholesome and nutritious food.
  • WorldVeg plant breeders develop nutritionally enhanced global vegetables, such as high-beta carotene tomatoes, and work to improve the agronomic traits of nutritious traditional vegetables.
  • The Center distributes nutrition seed packs for home and school garden initiatives, and also for disaster relief.
  • Promotional activities and recipes raise awareness of the benefits of consuming vegetables for a healthy diet.
  • Small-scale production systems are enhanced by the Center’s low-cost, adaptable technologies, such as net houses, grafting, drip irrigation, seedling nurseries and more.
  • Integrated pest management strategies incorporating biopesticides, pheromone traps, trap plants and other methods offer cost-effective options for small-scale growers to protect their crops and reduce pesticide use.
  • Many WorldVeg projects provide for training of trainers in improved production practices. These trainers then go on to disseminate the practices to more people.
  • Postharvest practices, from zero energy cool chambers to improved packing crates, help farmers protect their harvest and have better quality produce to sell.
  • Processing vegetables—by bottling, pickling, or drying, for instance—extends the harvest and creates job opportunities, especially for women and the landless.
Plant breeders develop vegetable lines with improved resistance to pests and diseases, as well as increased tolerance to flooding, drought, heat and other abiotic stress: All are vital characteristics for successful crop production in a changing climate.
  • The World Vegetable Center Genebank holds the world’s largest public collection of vegetable germplasm, with more than 61,000 accessions from 156 countries. The Center shares this vast collection with researchers, governments, seed companies, farmers and nongovernmental organizations worldwide.
  • Parts of the collection are duplicated in other locations (for instance, in Korea and at the Svalbard Seed Vault) to protect this treasure of diversity.
  • Genebank staff regularly provide training in seed saving to national and project partners.
  • Wild relatives of commercial crops, farmers’ landraces, and traditional vegetables are collected with national partners, along with traditional production knowledge.
  • Center researchers screen genebank accessions to select molecular markers, which they use to identify genes linked to valuable horticultural traits.
  • Plant breeders develop nutritious vegetable lines with improved resistance to pests and diseases and increased tolerance to flooding, drought, heat and other abiotic stress, as well as the qualities sought after by the market: color, taste, size, shelf-life.

How the Center contributes to other SDGs

Vegetable production and processing create new jobs and new sources of income for small-scale farmers and landless laborers.

Promoting efficient water use for small-scale farms, clean water in markets, wastewater recycling, and sanitation.

Robust vegetable lines and adaptable production technologies strengthen farmers’ resilience to climate change.

Consumption of micronutrient-dense vegetables alleviates diseases linked to malnutrition, such as type 2 diabetes.

Cost-effective production technologies and training courses enhance farmers’ economic productivity.

The World Vegetable Center Genebank shares and safeguards vegetable genetic resources for the entire world.

Home and school garden programs offer opportunities to acquire knowledge for a sustainable lifestyle.

The Center’s innovative technologies facilitate integration of small-scale enterprises into the vegetable value chain.

We influence policy and promote progress through partnerships in agriculture, nutrition, and health.

Empowering women and girls by promoting their full participation in small-scale vegetable farming.

Pest management strategies and postharvest technologies improve production efficiency and reduce food losses.

 We’re #2! What number are you?