The 29th International Horticultural Congress | Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes | 17-22 August 2014
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Horticulture in Developing Countries & World Food Production

Sponsored by ISHS Commission on Sustainability though Integrated & Organic Horticulture and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

The International Symposium on "Horticulture in Developing Countries and World Food Production" will be held in Brisbane, Australia in 2014 as part of the International Horticultural Congress (IHC2014).

The three-day symposium will include three invited speakers, sessions of oral presentations and a poster session. There will be a linked workshop focusing on the experiences of PARDI - ACIAR's Pacific Agribusiness Research-for-Development Initiative.

The sponsor of this symposium (ACIAR), supports research in support of agricultural development in numerous countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Partners in these projects are actively encouraged to participate in the symposium and report on their findings, and there will be a particular focus on ACIAR-funded projects with several sessions targeting this area. Participants from ACIAR-funded programs are especially invited to submit abstracts.

Horticulture has traditionally provided food security and a way of life for millions of smallholders in developing countries. Resource-poor communities are increasingly using their skills in horticulture as a means to increase cash incomes and more broadly to improve their livelihoods by supplying fruits and vegetables, fresh or processed, to high-value local, urban and international markets. The international research-and-development community has also identified supporting this process as a promising entry point for efforts to improve the livelihoods of resource-poor people.

The world’s population is projected to increase by 1 billion people by 2025 to reach 8 billion. In addition to the challenge of feeding a growing population, poor lifestyles and diets now sees the number of overweight adults (>1.4 billion) exceeding the number suffering from hunger (<1 billion), with the total number experiencing some form of malnutrition estimated to be over 3 billion. While the historical approach to alleviate hunger has been to foster increased production and supply of a small number of staple crop species to regions in need, the rise in non-communicable diseases and malnutrition in these regions, and in the developed regions of the world, has seen a growing recognition of the importance of including a diverse range of nutritious horticultural produce as a component of a healthy diet.

The rising demand for horticultural produce creates opportunities for income generating activities for small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs in rural and peri-urban and urban settings. Horticultural production not only improves food and nutrition security, but also provides livelihoods to producers and all parties involved in the associated value chains, contributing towards economic growth and development.

Scientists working with developing countries, or on projects related to the broader topic of world food production are invited to submit abstracts for either oral or posters sessions, and lets together make this an essential symposium for workers in this vital area of horticulture.

In this symposium, we invite participants to share their research/experience in oral or poster presentations on the following themes:

  • Enhancing food security in developing countries
  • ACIAR-funded projects in the Asia-pacific regions and Africa
  • Fruit and vegetable production, marketing and postharvest management
  • Value chains in developing countries
  • Adaptations to climate change in developing counties
  • Global trends in horticultural production and food security
  • Research for development case studies
  • Emergency relief and horticultural production
  • Enabling environment for improving livelihoods (including policy, access to resources and overcoming social and cultural barriers)


Dr Alistair Gracie is a Senior Lecturer in Horticultural Science at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He has a teaching and research portfolio that specialises in vegetable crop physiology and agronomy. The primary focus of his research is to provide practical solutions that aid local industry as well as communities in developing countries.

Dr Gordon Rogers is currently the President of the Australian Society for Horticultural Science and has been active in horticultural science and plant physiology, specialising in vegetable crops since graduating from the University of Queensland, Gatton in 1982. He has 30 years experience in the Australian horticultural industry focussed on vegetable crop research and more recently with a focus on developing countries. Gordon was convener of the 3rd International cucurbit symposium in Townsville (2005), co-editor of the proceedings and awarded the ISHS medal in the same year. He is a member of the vegetable and vine and berry fruit sections of the ISHS and the Cucurbitaceae, water relations in grapevines, vegetable quality, timing of field production and vegetable nutrition working groups.

Makiko Taguchi is an agronomist, working for the Plant Production and Protection Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy. She is currently working on an urban and peri-urban horticulture programme called Growing Greener Cities. The programme focuses on horticultural production in urban and peri-urban areas as a means to improve livelihoods of the urban poor and increase food and nutrition security, within the context of sustainable and resilient urban planning. She also serves as co-secretary for the Food for the Cities initiative, which looks at the issue of urban food security in a multi-dimensional approach.

Dr Francis Appiah teaches at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana. His research cuts across fields including horticulture, food science, postharvest technology and systems, nutrition and community education. He has special interest in promoting scientific research and dissemination. He is Honorary Secretary of the Ghana Institute of Horticulturists. He has convened several Scientific conferences in horticulture with the latest being the 13th Scientific Conference of the Ghana institute of Horticulturists (PROVAF 2012) in collaboration with FAO and Global Horticulture Initiative (GLOBALHORT) in Accra, Ghana.

Keynote Speakers

Prof Fred Davies is Regents Professor at the Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, Texas, USA. Dr. Davies' areas of research entails ornamental nursery crop physiology, low-pressure controlled production environments for NASA, mycorrhizal fungi, and international agriculture. Research topics include: physiology of mycorrhizal enhancement of plant drought and nutrient stress resistance, biofertilizers, ornamental horticulture production (nursery and greenhouse crops), the interaction of plant stress and integrated pest management (IPM), alternative nursery production systems, low input agriculture sustainable systems utilizing mycorrhizal fungi, tissue culture systems and plant acclimatization, and plant propagation systems. His laboratory group has authored over 180 research and technical publications. Dr Davies has won many awards including a Fullbright Senior Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow and many teaching achievement awards. He is a Fellow of International Plant Propagators Society and American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS). He was ASHS President in 2011.

John Bowman is a Senior Agriculture Adviser at the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Food Security based in Washington DC. Dr. Bowman manages global projects for USAID’s Office of Agricultural Research and Policy in the areas of horticulture, integrated pest management, food safety, and post-harvest loss. Prior to this current assignment, Dr. Bowman worked in USAID’s Office of Nutrition where he was focused on building linkages between agriculture and nutrition. Dr. Bowman has over 28 years of experience in international development having worked in over 40 countries for international agricultural research centers (CIMMYT, CIAT), multinational food companies (PepsiCo, URC-Philippines, Technico-China), and international consulting firms (DAI, Chemonics, Nippon-Koei). He holds two Master’s degrees (Latin American Studies, Plant Pathology) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign.

Scientific Committee

  • Patrick Kumah (Ghana), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Remi Kahane (France), CIRAD
  • Remi Nono Womdim (Italy), FAO
  • NeBambi Lutaladio, University of Kinshasa
  • Prof Phil Brown (Australia), Central Queensland University, Australia
  • Dr Mark Boersma (Australia), University of Tasmania, Australia
  • Paolo Inglese (Italy), University of Palermo
  • Laura Atuah (Ghana), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Richard Markham (Australia), ACIAR