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Stories - 07-06-2023

A joint approach is essential

The World Vegetable Center is striving to tackle poverty and malnutrition in developing countries. How? By boosting the production and consumption of nutritious vegetables in those countries. Arun Joshi, Managing Director of Rijk Zwaan India, explains why Rijk Zwaan is a partner within this project.

Higher yield

“The World Vegetable Center – or WorldVeg for short – is a non-profit organisation that was founded back in 1971. The institution is focused on improving varieties and production methods in developing countries, particularly in Africa and Asia. WorldVeg helps vegetable growers to achieve a higher yield. Growers must be able to get the most out of their crops. This enables them to earn a better income, plus it creates jobs and stimulates a healthy and more varied diet within families.”

Targeted solutions

“WorldVeg conducts research into how to improve existing, traditional varieties. The institute also develops varieties with resistances against diseases and pests that are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa. WorldVeg’s research is thorough and of a high quality, resulting in targeted solutions for problems in certain varieties. Ralstonia, the tobacco mosaic virus and the leaf curl virus in tomato are good examples. The resistances WorldVeg has developed against these diseases are now used in virtually all tomato varieties.”

Win-win situation

“Governments, knowledge institutes, NGOs and seed companies all work closely together within WorldVeg. A joint approach is essential. Improving the position of growers and tackling malnutrition requires input from many different sides. Rijk Zwaan supports WorldVeg financially and we also share our knowledge and experience whenever necessary. In return, we can utilise genetic material from the WorldVeg gene bank in our work to develop new varieties, so it’s a win-win situation.”

In partnership with WorldVeg and other organisations, Rijk Zwaan is working on a healthy, sustainable future for everyone – both growers and consumers. We are guided by our mission of ‘Sharing a healthy future.’