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European Journal of Horticultural Science (eJHS)
GlobalHort Image Library

Global Map of Horticultural Development Projects

Horticulture Innovation Lab Global Horticulture Knowledge Bank

Horticulture Science


New World Fruit Database


Pollination Information Management System (PIMS)

Weedsbook – The African Weed Science Network


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The GlobalHort Knowledge Base presented consists of

  1. information maintained by the GlobalHort secretariat on its website 

  2. information maintained by the various partners on their websites and in their on-line data repositories extended

  3. information from other relevant on-line resources

You may search through the specific sections of the knowledge base

  • Search the GlobalHort Website

  • Search the GlobalHort Partners Websites

  • Search for Publications

  • Search for Projects, Experts, Organizations

  • Search for Best Practices

Go to the Resources for a list of the resources that are included in the Knowledge Base.

Knowledge Base

New book on urban agriculture

May 5, 2017

A new publication by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) is synthesizing knowledge on urban agriculture in the Global North and Global South. It is considered to be one of the first books on urban agriculture in a global context. The book starts with providing a definition of urban agriculture and moves on to discussing its role in community building, sustainable development and food justice. It also discusses the challenges of establishing urban agriculture markets and urban agriculture as an illegal activity. It gives a number of case studies both from the North and South that put urban agriculture in the context of social and environmental sustainability. Different authors discuss also topics such as bees in the city and urban agriculture in slums. For more information on this book please click here.

FAO e-discussion on intensification of horticulture cropping systems

March 22, 2017

The FAO’s Rural and Urban Crop and Mechanization systems team (AGPML) is inviting to an online discussion forum on sustainable crop production intensification of horticulture crop based systems. The discussion will revolve around examples of participants for successful innovative practices to increase production in a sustainable fashion. The target groups for this discussion are especially scientists and practitioners, but also experts of other groups that deal with sustainable intensification. Case study contributions should try to answer the following questions:


• Have the innovative practices and technologies in your example proved to work well and produced good results, can they be recommended as models and why?

• Are they successful experiences that have been tested and validated in the broad sense and deserve to be shared so that a greater number of people can adopt them?

• Alternatively, have these innovative practices or technologies demonstrated a high degree of success in a single setting and guarantee the possibility of replication in the same setting?


For more information and to join the discussion please this link.

Podcast about chocolate with expert knowledge

February 14, 2017

Food journalist Simran Sethi has launched the pilot of a podcast series about chocolate called The Slow Melt. She informs about the basics of cocoa production, chocolate processing, flavors and genetic diversity besides other topics to deepen our understanding of this famous product. Simran is including expert knowledge in her podcasts. For the pilot she has interviewed Peter Schieberle, a food chemist at Munich Technical University, Eagranie Yuh, a chocolate educator and author and Brigitte Laliberté, coordinator of the Global Network for Cacao Genetic Resources (CacaoNet) and the Cocoa of Excellence initiative of Bioversity international. Each year the Excellence Programme is awarding the best cocoa from more than 40 producing countries. The aim of CacaoNet is to “ safeguard and value the richness of diversity in cacao”. For more information on the work of Bioversity International in the field of cocoa conservation please click here . To listen to the podcast directly please follow this link.

How to make tomatoes tastier again

January 31, 2017

In an interview with Deutsche Welle Harry Klee, professor in horticulture is sharing his research insights from tomato breeding. Through breeding for bigger fruit, tomato farmers have compromised much of the flavor of tomatoes for economic benefits. Professor Klee and his team or researchers from the US, China, Israel and Spain are looking at new and old varieties to find out which genes are responsible for tomato taste and sugar content and how to make tomatoes on the market tastier without compromising traits such as disease resistance and high yields. They have sequenced the genomes of a total of 389 varieties. The team is motivated to increase tomato consumption for better nutrition. So far the researchers found out that 30 chemicals contribute to the flavor of tomato, “13 of which are only present in a reduced form”. You can find the research paper that was published in Science here . To read the interview please follow this link.

Case studies of Urban Horticulture in Italy

January 21, 2017

A group or researchers in Italy have published a study on the potential of urban horticulture to increase the societal benefits of vacant sites in the city of Bologna. The study looked at four types of vacant sites, namely flowerbeds, roundabouts, terraces, and balconies and rooftops. Those types were then analyzed regarding their suitability for requalification through urban agriculture. Six study sites were identified to conduct specific case studies for each type. The researchers looked at the strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) of each case study. Factors considered for this analysis were success of Management, societal effects, education and cultural aspects and the increased benefits of the site in an urban development context, such as aesthetics and reproducibility. The researchers also looked at the stakeholders involved, property rights, type of user agreements, end users and type of production and motivation. The study concluded that bottom-up strategies were more successfully in engaging citizens in participating than top-down strategies. Recommendations for policy making suggest that participatory and multi-stakeholder approaches should be used to “integrate bottom-up perspectives and practices in urban planning”. Furthermore food safety test must be included in planning horticultural sites on vacant lots since contamination of soils is common. Urban horticulture planning should also include business models. To read this study please click here.

IFAD Rural Development Report 2016

January 19, 2017

In its Rural Development Report 2016 the International Fund for Agricultural Development is providing a summary of the state of rural development worldwide. The report addresses ten specific thematic areas including Employment and migration, gender equality and women’s empowerment, food and nutrition security, Agrifood markets and value chains and more. It points out that big successes have been achieved in the fight against poverty and hunger since 1992 and that rural development accounts for a big part of that success. Nevertheless rural areas are lacking behind urban areas in all parts of the world. The three major questions addressed in the report are:

• What are the different pathways of structural and rural transformation in developing countries?

• How do the different pathways affect rural poverty reduction and social and economic inclusion?

• What can policy makers do to stimulate and support inclusive rural transformation?


While transformation in Latin America, the Caribbean and in Asian and Pacific countries has led to significant poverty reduction the Near East, North African and Central Asia are facing enormous challenges that hamper rural development, such as droughts and conflicts. Whereas good infrastructure and corporate farms have changed the economic landscape to one that is no longer dominated by agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa is expected to “remain predominantly rural until about 2035”. In Asia an the Pacific “poverty here is largely a rural phenomenon”. For more information you can find the report here.

Competition for innovations to reduce food-losses

January 10, 2017

The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), in collaboration with the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and Syngenta is hosting a competition to promote innovations for post-harvest management. The competition is taking place in the context of the the First All Africa Post Harvest Congress and Exhibition, which will be held in Nairobi on March 28th to 31st, 2017. The Congress with the theme “Reducing Food Losses and Waste: Sustainable Solutions for Africa” will be the first opportunity of its kind for stakeholders to connect and exchange information. The best 10 innovators will present their projects at the event. The top 3 will in addition be awarded a 30,000 USD seed fund and a selection of the 50 best projects will also be published and shared with potential investors. Besides that a number of applicants will be supported in promoting their ideas. Applicants have to be 18 years old or older and be citizens of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda or Burundi. For more information please click here.

Brief on community biodiversity registers

January 4, 2017

In order to promote the conservation of agrobiodiversity the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD),and Bioversity international piloted a participatory method, which produced Community Biodiversity Registers. Through documenting the variety of crops in a community and the local knowledge about their use, cultural values, cultivation and agronomic traits the erosion of genetic diversity and loss of traditional knowledge shall be counteracted. The registers should ideally be written in both local and common languages and contain photographs or drawings for visualization. Some might even include an herbarium. The tool shall help communities to:

• establish an inventory to allow monitoring of crop diversity and to document its associated farmer (traditional) knowledge

• generate a collective sense of community empowerment and ownership of genetic resources as a way to decentralize their management and conservation

• provide a record of the knowledge and uses of local biodiversity that can prevent biopiracy and enable the equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources


The brief also gives two examples from Nepal and South Africa. To read the brief please click here.

CIAT Guide for participatory mapping

December 27, 2016

At the Ecosystem Services Partnership conference last November in Kenya participants stressed the importance of listening to farmers. This was concluded from a synthesis of multiple participatory studies conducted by Centro Internacional de Agriculture Tropical (CIAT). In their new Guide to participatory mapping the research center gives excellent advice on how to involve communities to promote the sustainable use of resources. The guide was specifically developed for NGOs, government agencies, civil society organizations and researchers to get insights into multiuse agricultural landscapes from the view of the communities themselves. The approach described in the guide uses free, high resolution satellite imagery from Google Earth Pro to first identify and locate resources in a landscape and get more information on for example their usage by different user groups, changes in supply and demand and consequences on people’s lives, as well as conflicts and management practices. The Guide includes examples from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania and information material on how to create maps for different activities, martials that can be used with the participatory exercise and advice on digitalizing maps besides additional sources of information. You can find the guide here and a CIAT blogpost on the importance of listening to farmers, here.


New FAO report on how pulses can promote sustainable agriculture

December 6, 2016

On yesterday’s World Soil Day the FAO published a new book titled “Soils and Pulses: Symbiosis for Life”, which discusses the multiple benefits of pulses in fighting hunger and climate change, while boosting soil fertility. It specifically lists examples of how pulses can be used for soil management and eventually increased crop yields. It lists a number of case studies connected to ecosystem services of pulses and gives theoretical background on the function and physiology of pulses in regard to nitrogen fixation. Besides the publication the FAO’s Council also endorsed the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management, which give technical and policy recommendations that shall help to protect soils and restore fertility. In addition the Instituto Geografico Agustin Codazzi, based in Columbia, received the Glinka World Soil Prize, which was rewarded for the first time in history. You can find the publication on soil and pulses and more information here.

New book on Innovtions for inclusive value-chain development

November 4, 2016

The International Food Policy Research Institute has (IFPRI) has published a book on „Innovations for inclusive value-chain development: Successes and challenges“. Based on a number of case studies it throws light the best practices in value-chain development (VCD) to promote economic growth and fight poverty. More specifically it addresses the roles of market linkages, farmer organizations, and multi-stakeholder platforms, urbanization and gender inclusion and the question how the success of value-chain development can be measured. You can find more information here.

Book on Peri-Urban Agriculture, Cultural Diversity and Sustainability in Sydney

October 26, 2016

This book, written by Dr. Sarah James from the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University, throws light on small-scale farmers in Sydney. It contributes to the debate of local food production and urban sustainability. She specifically addresses the fight to survive of urban farms in the face of urban development but offers a new model of growth that better meets the needs of people today. You can find the link to the book here.

ISHS launched Young Minds Project

October 18, 2016

The International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) is inviting students and young scientists to voice their opinion on the field of horticulture and ISHS. With their Young Minds Project ISHS aims to gain a better understanding of the “motivations, expectations and impediments of young people to pursue horticultural careers and to become a member of our Society.” The project consists of an online, 10 minute, primarily multiple choice questionnaire and a video challenge. The questionnaire covers topics such as the attractiveness of horticulture as a career, personal interests, and the role of ISHS as well as the opportunities they offer. In the video challenge participants are asked to make a 5 minute, inspirational and interesting video on one of the following topics:

• the attraction, beauty and diversity of horticultural sciences;

• your motivation, interest and curiosity towards horticultural sciences;

• the richness of career opportunities in horticultural sciences;

• potential benefits of being a member of the ISHS.


Participants will have the chance to win a price. For more information visit the official website here.

New issue of RUAF’s Urban Agriculture Magazine

October 12, 2016

The International Network of Resource Centers on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF Foundation) has published number 31 of its Urban Agriculture Magazine with the title ‘Inclusive Use of Urban Space’. In the focus of this issue is how communities can actively promote urban farming and influence policy making and how policy makers are reacting. It draws on examples from West- and East Africa and South America, Indonesia, USA, Spain, Vietnam and the Netherlands. The issue was written in collaboration with representatives of Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, State University of New York, Buffalo University and the University College London. Besides English, the magazine is also available in Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese and Turkish. Please click here for a list of all published issues of RUAF’s Urban Agriculture Magazine in all languages. Or you can read issue 31 directly here.

New CABI Compendium

October 4, 2016

After the release of 'Horticultural Science’, an online resource platform that compiles a vast collection of scientific work in the field of horticulture the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) is now working on an online encyclopedic authoritative source. The ‘Horticulture Compendium’ will contain datasheets with information on crop characteristics, planting and harvesting, storage and other aspects. It will constitute an extension of existing CABI compendiums such as the Invasive Species Compendium and Crop Protection Compendium. The new source is expected to be launched in early 2017. For more information and a complete list of existing compendia please follow this link

African Doctoral Academy Summer School

September 30, 2016

Between January 9th and 20th, 2017 the African Doctoral Academy will hold its 8th annual Summer School. The program is meant for PhD candidates, supervisors and other researchers to gain skills for designing and conducting a research project. Courses will specifically address how to prepare for a PhD, including proposal writing, how do design a study, how to analyse your data and how to publish it. A range of professors of different universities will be teaching. For more information on the content, prices and registration, please visit the official website here.

Hydroponics magazine features urban agriculture

September 20, 2016

In a new issue of the magazine Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses a series of reports on urban agriculture are compiled together to an interesting introduction to the topic. It includes an article about the rise of the new urban farming movement, a report on vertical farming in Japan and features two of the major urban agriculture hot spots Chicago, as the “urban agriculture capital of the US” and Vancouver, which has one of the most ambitious urban farming goals worldwide. You can read the full magazine online at through this link.

Videos on school gardens for preschools

September 14, 2016

Georgia Organics, an NGO based in the US, that is working on sustainable food production offers a series of seven videos for all those interested in school gardens for preschools. The videos were made in the context of the Farm to School program of the US government and aims to incorporate fresh, locally produced food into students’ diets. The topics of the videos range from how to conduct taste tests, via building and using gardens, to cooking. You can find all seven videos through this link.

New PEAPARD video online

August 29, 2016

The European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (PEAPARD) has published a new online video. Flavien Kouatcha is a 27 year old Cameroonian and the founder of “Save Our Agriculture”. With simple and cheap raw materials and a lot of engineering skills he is building in-door, small-scale aquaponics systems to complement traditional horticulture in his country. He has won several prices and is currently employing 7 people. In this video you can watch Flavien build one of his aquaponic designs and get introduced to his story and future plans.

New book on urban agriculture

August 23, 2016

“Sowing Seeds in the City: Ecosystem and Municipal Services”, by Sally Brown, Kristen McIvor, and Elizabeth Hodges, throws light on the potential impacts of urban agriculture in regard to ecosystem services. The book is compiled of numerous articles of academics, journalist and people of the movement and discusses for example how urban agriculture can contribute to soil and water conservation, waste recycling, climate change mitigation, habitat, and food production. Whether in community gardens, on rooftops, on sidewalks, in the backyard or the balcony, this publication is meant to increase our understanding of the benefits of urban agriculture to promote sustainable cities. The book also addresses how to integrate urban agriculture into urban planning and legal frameworks and how to choose a good sight for a garden. For more information please click here.

Why Chicago is an Urban Agriculture hotspot

August 17, 2016

Since the victory garden movement in World War II, Chicago has been amongst the leaders in urban agriculture across the United States. Nowadays it is home to the world’s largest rooftop farm and the nation’s largest indoor aquaponics farm. But why is Chicago so much better when it comes to Urban Agriculture than other cities. There seem to be a number of reasons. The first one is simply the availability of vacant space. Compared to other cities in the US like New York and San Francisco, Chicago has a lower population density and thus more space available for gardens. Another reason are progressive policies, an example for which is an amendment to the Chicago Zoning Ordinance, which allows urban gardens to have a size of up to 25 000 square feet. Furthermore the city itself supports urban farming with funding. Last but not least there is a lot of demand and support for local produce in the city, and an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. For more information please follow this link. You can also find a database of urban gardens in Chicago at the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project.

Horticulture therapy course creates opportunities for students with special needs in India

August 12, 2016

In the capital of India’s state Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, the Centre for Disability Studies has created a course that enables students with physical and/or mild mental handicaps to obtain a diploma in horticulture therapy. The Centre for Disability Studies of the LBS Centre for Science and Technology promotes research and development of new educational technologies for individuals with special needs. It has a special focus on innovations in rehabilitation and ultimately aims at empowering people with disabilities. In the six-months long course students learn the basics of horticulture therapy and garden assessment besides other skills. The first 12 students have already successfully graduated with another batch on their way right now. The course gives the students the possibility to generate their own income and improves also vocational skills. For more information click here.

Video of GlobalHort Panel Discussion at the 3rd All Africa Horticulture Congress

August 9, 2016

At the 3rd All Africa Horticulture Congress, which is currently taking place in Nigeria, Dr. Hannah Jaenicke of GlobalHort has led a panel discussion on how horticulture can contribute to improved livelihoods, which is now available online. Participants of the discussion include Dr. Jane Ambuko, Senior Lecturer and Head of Horticulture in the Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection of the University of Nairobi, Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, Executive Director of the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the Hon. Munir Babba Danagundi, Member of the Nigerian House of Representatives for Kano State and Member of the Committee on Agriculture, Dr. Marco Wopereis, Director General of The World Vegetable Centre, Dr. Chiji Ojukwu, Director of the Agriculture and Agro-Industy Department of the African Development Bank and Dr. Henry Akin Akintoye, President-in-Council of the Horticultural Society of Nigeria. Please follow these two links to watch part 1 and part 2 of the discussion. On the AAHC Nigeria 2016 youtube channel you can find more videos of the Congress.

Manual of low/no-space agriculture and family business gardens

August 3, 2016

In collaboration with the “Cities Farming for the Future Programme” of the International Network of Resource Centers on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF Foundation) the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has published a “manual of low/no-space agriculture –cum- family business gardens”. The author first gives a broader introduction with definitions and elements of low/no-space agriculture and family business gardens before informing about cultivation structures. The second part of the manual discusses the importance of urban agriculture and gives management advice. You can find the publication through this link.

Video series on fruit fly management

July 27, 2016

Agro-insight together with CORAF/WECARD, the University of Abomey-Calavi and the University of Ghana has published a series of free online videos to train farmers in the management of fruit flies. The series consists of six videos with the following topics:

1. Integrated approach against fruit flies

2. Collecting fallen fruit against fruit flies

3. Killing fruit flies with food baits

4. Mass trapping of fruit flies

5. Weaver ants against fruit flies

6. Promoting weaver ants in your orchard


The videos can also be downloaded as an audio only or a 3gp file for mobile phones, which also includes a fact sheet and contact to experts. Please visit this link for more information and the download.

New internet platform for horticulture research

July 19, 2016

The Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) has launched “Horticultural Science”, a new database on tropical, subtropical and temperate horticultural science research. This online resource currently contains over 1.4 million abstracts, and over 67, 500 full text documents from over 100 countries with new content added weekly. You can also find news and research updates, and reviews of subject experts, search by crop group or key topic, save or export your records directly and subscribe to your saved searches. The database covers the topics “genetic resources, taxonomy, molecular biology, genetics, biotechnology, breeding, cultivars, propagation, climate, environment, soils, crop management, protected cultivation, pests, diseases, weeds, plant physiology, crop quality, postharvest treatment, storage, marketing and supply chains, and horticultural techniques and technology”. It includes information on fruits, nuts, and vegetables, ornamentals, medicinal plants, essential oil plants, beverage crops and other plantation and industrial crops, as well as wild plants and relatives, new crops and under-utilized crops besides many more. To access the database click here. For more information visit the marketing webpage through this link.

IFPRI book stresses importance of home gardens in fighting malnutrition

July 6, 2016

The International Food Policy Research Institute has released “Nourishing Millions: Stories of change in nutrition”, a book, which synthesizes the current knowledge on nutrition and global challenges connected to it. The book includes a number of case studies from different countries that show successful strategies to improve nutrition. The report also specifically stresses the importance of home gardens in the fight against vitamin deficiencies, which combined with animal husbandry forms the so called Enhanced Homestead Food Production (HFP) model. Its strength lays in the combination of vitamin-rich fruit and vegetable production with the supply of micronutrients such as zinc and iron from animal products. A recent enhancement of the HFP model was reached through integrating better communication about and education in horticulture, health, nutrition and hygiene practices as well as specifically addressing the role of women. For more information and an online download of the book please visit this website.

UNEP report suggests increasing toxicity in crops due to climate change

June 28, 2016

A report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) throws light on how extreme weather can affect levels of potentially harmful chemical substances in crops. Among the toxins mentioned is nitrate, which under continuous drought conditions, seems to be accumulated especially in barley, millet, wheat and corn and thus in some of the world’s major staple foods. Nitrate accumulation in the human body can, for example, affect oxygen transport. Other toxins in crops that seem to be affected by extreme weather are hydrogen cyanide, which can occur in plants after heavy rains following long droughts, and aflatoxins, which are produced by fungi that infest crops. Whereas the first can also affect oxygen transport in humans, the latter can increase the risk of cancer, liver damage and blindness besides other effects. In addition to crop toxicity the report titled “Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern” also addresses zoonotic diseases, plastic pollution, the financial sector and climate change in general. For more information follow these links: (1), (2).

Six videos by the AVRDC to train Tanzanian farmers in vegetable production

June 24, 2016

The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) has produced six videos to train Tanzanian and other farmers in vegetable production. The videos were made within the framework of the project VINESA (Improving income and nutrition in eastern and southern Africa by enhancing vegetable-based farming and food systems in peri-urban corridors), which is funded with help from Australia. The project has the aim to reduce youth unemployment in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The videos fall within the four thematic areas of composting, crop nutrition, pest management, seed production and seedling production and specifically address the following topics:

1. Producing quality seedlings

2. Transplanting seedlings

3. Getting crop nutrition right

4. Making great compost

5. Controlling whitefly in tomato

6. Producing quality seed


Please follow this link to watch the videos and to read more information.

PAEPARD video on moringa tea production

June 20, 2016

After treating her husband with moringa during a disease Safiatou Roamba decided to start a business with this useful plant. Together with her daughter and 4 other employees she is picking, drying, packaging and marketing moringa tee across Burkina Faso and exports to France. A 5 minute video by the Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research is now available on Agribusiness TV through this link. It gives insight into the production chain and includes interviews of Safiatou and her family.

Online course on Green Entrepreneurship for African youth

June 15, 2016

Project GEO offers a five weeks online course titled “Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship” specifically for young Africans. It constitutes part one of a two phase process and will be followed by a 21-day boot camp in Cape Town, South Africa. Participation in the latter will only be admitted to those who successfully participated in the online course. Project GEO aims to decrease youth unemployment in Africa through training and education. Registration for the project is free of charge and training is offered in English, French and Arabic. Application deadline for this online course is July 18th, 2016. Please click here to register and for further information.

USGCRP report suggests lower nutritional values of crops with rising CO2 levels

June 10, 2016

According to a report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), titled “Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment”, increased CO2 concentrations can lead to higher carbohydrate production and lower protein and essential mineral content in some widely used crops. The report is based on a synthesis of multiple studies and aims to inform about the impact of climate change on health in the US. It consists of nine thematic areas, ranging from temperature related health effects, via air quality impacts and mental health to food safety, nutrition and distribution. Further key findings suggest an increased exposure of humans to chemical contaminants in food such as mercury and an increased risk of food borne illnesses. To read the report please click here.

Paper on the Prevalence of Obesity in Mentally Disabled Children Attending Special Education Institutes in Khartoum State

May 28, 2016

A group of researchers from Cairo University has published a paper on the prevalence of obesity among mentally disabled children in special education institutes in Khartoum state, Sudan. The study was conducted through a questionnaire including the topics intelligence and dietary habits. Results suggest that 28.3% of the tested children are obese, with a very high protein but low calcium consumption. Mothers’ lack of knowledge on nutrition and large family size seem to be associated with obesity. To read the full article click here.

Publication on the Relationship between Personality Type and Fruit and Vegetable Preference in School Kids

May 24, 2016

Myrdal et al., of the North Dakota State University have conducted a study that supports the hypothesis that “personality is a factor that influences food preferences”. The team of researchers surveyed third and fourth grade school children through their parents and caretakers, who answered a demographic questionnaire, an individual “Inventory of Children’s differences”, a Fruit and Vegetable Preference questionnaire and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). Results suggest that children that are more open for new experiences and show a higher agreeableness prefer fruits and vegetables more and have a higher HEI, in comparison to more neurotic kids. This article is openly accessible through this link.

Online course on urban agriculture entrepreneurship

May 13, 2016

“URBAN GREEN TRAIN - Urban green education for enterprising Agricultural innovation” is a project funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, that aims to promote urban agriculture through education, knowledge exchange and dialogue. Its backbone is a network of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and institutions in Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands. They offer an overview of online courses on urban agriculture and are planning to launch an open-access pilot course on urban agriculture entrepreneurship that is supposed to start this summer. The course will be designed for SMEs, academics, students and NGOs, as well as public authorities. For more information please visit the official website here.

FAO video presentations on urban water management, and street food in Ghana

April 22, 2016

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has published two video presentations on (1) "Water and Nutrient recycling in Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture", presented by Mr. Sudarshana Fernando, of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and (2) “Street Food in Ghana: A Review of Findings and Recommendations from Literature, and a way forward” by Mr. Stefano Marras, a consultant at FAORAF. Please follow the linked titles to access the videos.

Webinar on Household gardens in developmental and emergency contexts

April 11, 2016

On April 14th at 10am (EDT) The Catholic Relief Service will host a webinar on Household gardens in developmental and emergency contexts. It will be presented by Thomas Dubois, Regional Director at AVRDC and Pepijn Schreinemachers, an AVRDC Lead Specialist. For more information and access to the webinar click here.

Webinar series by SeedSystem

April 6, 2016 has published three webinars on the topics: (1) Hermetic Technologies for Grain and Seed Storage, (2) Approaches to Commercialization of Hermetic Technologies to Reduce Storage Losses and (3) Lessons Learned from Vegetable Gardening Projects. Each webinar is presented by researchers of well-known organizations, each webinar is about an hour of video material, and each webinar is open access and can be found on youtube. To find more information and to watch the webinars, please visit the website of SeedSystems here.

New issue of AJFAND

April 4, 2016  

The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND) has published Volume 16 No. 1. AJFAND is an open access peer reviewed journal published in Kenya. It aims to inform politicians, civil society and industries about research in food production and development. Besides others the new issue includes the following articles:


· Characterization of postharvest physiology attributes of six commercially grown tomato varieties in Kenya. · Nutritional composition and antioxidant properties of Raphionacme splendens (schl.) tubers.


· Effect of BAP, NAA and GA3, either alone or in combination, on meristem culture and plantlet establishment in sweet potato (cv Brondal).


· Education, training and awareness of laws as determinants of compliance with plant protection law: The case of pesticide use practices in Tanzania.


· Determinants of the adoption of integrated soil fertility management technologies in Mbale division, Kenya.


· Assessing the determinants of tissue culture banana adoption in western Kenya.


· Prevalence and predictors of vitamin A deficiency among infants in western Kenya using a cross-sectional analysis.

You can find all these and more articles here.

Free book on the Principles of Garden-Based Education

March 30, 2016 

The Wisconsin School Garden Innitiative of Community GroundWorks together with Environmental Design Lab and the University of Wisconsin have just published the book “Teaching in Nature’s Classroom; Core Principles of Garden-Based Education”. The author Nathan Larson points out 15 guiding principles for garden-based educators, while drawing from a vast range of experiences, as well as research, embedded in personal stories. To download the ebook or order a free paperback copy and to find more information, including an online forum for discussion, please follow this link.

New issue of eJHS available

March 9, 2016

A new issue of the European Journal of Horticultural Science (eJHS) (volume 81/1) has been published. The peer-reviewed journal has a focus on novelties in plant science and other fields related to horticulture worldwide and aims at informing scientists and producers how to sustainably raise yields and quality of horticultural outputs. The new issue includes these articles:


• Late frost reactions of different populations of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.)

•Early frost reactions of different populations of Quercus robur L. and Tilia cordata Mill. in Germany

•Effects of low temperature and chilling duration on bud break and changes of endogenous hormones of asparagus

• Performance of various cool-season turfgrasses as influenced by simulated traffic in northeastern Italy

• Analysis of genetic diversity of the apricot germplasm in the southern region of the Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang, China using the ISSR technique

• Seed viability tests for Acer pictum and A. rubrum

• Reduction of evaporation from plant containers with cover layers of pine bark mulch


You can find all these articles here.

Webinar on vegetable gardening

March 7, 2016

On March 16th, 2016, the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) offers a webinar with the title “Lessons Learned from vegetable gardening projects”. It will be presented by Peter Marks, president of Seed Programs International and have a focus particularly at availability of and access to vegetable seeds while presenting examples from Africa and Central America. For more information click here.

Webinar on Innovative Ways to fund your School Garden

February 25, 2016

In this webinar Life Lab a leading NGO in the US garden-based learning movement, informs about innovative ways to find funding for school garden projects. Speakers are John Fisher, director of the Life Lab Programs and Partnerships and himself a co-founder of a school garden, as well as of the National School Garden Network and Kevin Hesser, who is a school teacher and garden coordinator and the co-founder of Gardens to Grow In.


Topics addressed in the webinar include:

• Tools for creating a garden budget

• Telling your story

• Garnering school or district support

• Cultivating donors

• Farm and garden based fundraisers

• Tips for finding grants

• Policy that supports school garden programs


Please find the webinar here.

Webinar on Managing Nutrient Solutions for Hydroponic Leafy Greens and Herbs

February 5, 2016

E-GRO has published two webinar videos on “Managing Nutrient Solutions for Hydroponic Leafy Greens and Herbs”, which were presented at the 3rd International Webinar Conference. The first video is presented by Dr. Chris Currey from Iowa State University and provides information specifically on pH and EC management. The second video is presented by Dr. Neil Mattson from Cornell University and informs about common nutrient disorders and nutrient solution recipes.

Online course on Environmental Education

January 21, 2016

Cornell University, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, Wageningen University, the University of Gothenburg, and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is offering an online course on “Environmental Education: Trans-disciplinary Approaches to addressing Wicked Problems”. The aim of the course is to create an opportunity for students and scholars to get insights and discuss multiple disciplines on how to improve environmental quality and change environmental behaviors. Topics will include disaster risk, conservation, parks and urban environmental education. Through individual facebook groups course participants can get the opportunity to meet with colleagues in person to discuss the course content and exchange experiences. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is offering participants to earn credits for a fee, all other participants will earn a certificate of completion without any payment requirements. The course will be held from February 1st to March 11th, 2016. Please find more information about the course here and register through this link.

Online course on Urban Gardening

January 13, 2016

The University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain, is offering a 20 ECTS, online course on “Huertos Urbanos: Buenas Prácticas Sociales, Ambientales y Territoriales” from February 1st to March 18th, 2016. The course will be taught in Spanish and costs 100 EUR. It is limited to a maximum number of 30 participants. Besides others the course aims at teaching skills in ecological agricultural techniques, community building techniques and teaching in and about nature. For more information please follow this link.

Call for applications for Master in Human Development and Food Security

January 11, 2016

The University of Roma Tre offers a 12 months Master Degree programme in Human Development and Food Security. The program has an international and interdisciplinary orientation and offers to gain practical research experience through 3 months internships or field-work. Lecturers from various universities and international organizations from the UK, USA, France, Germany and Italy are teaching the five modules of the program. Students will benefit particularly from partnerships with UN Agencies and NGOs across the globe. The application deadline is May 31, 2016.

For more detailed information click here.

Certificate in food security with course on urban agriculture

November 30, 2015

This certificate is offered by the Ryereson University in collaboration with partners. It consist of six courses, which address how to create a sustainable food system on the basis of social justice and democracy in both rural and urban settings. Please find more information here.

Review on Perforation-mediated modified atmosphere packaging

October 14, 2015

Modified atmosphere packaging (PM-MAP) can play a crucial role in extending the shelf-live of produce and thus reducing food waste and post harvest losses. This publication of the RUFORUM Journal Articles Collectio written by Zaharan , Hussein Oluwafemi , J. CalebUmezuruike , and Linus Opara investigates the role of postharvest hurdle technologies in food packaging and evaluates PM-MAP dependent parameters, as well as mathematical models.

Please find the link to RUFORUM and to the article here.


New book: Local Food for Global Future

September 21, 2015

In his new book ‘Local Food for Global Future: Classification, governance and knowledge for sustainable food security ’ Harry Donkers points to the importance of local and regional food production as an alternative to industrial systems. Through a new system classification he gives advice on suitable governance structures and answers questions about the development of alternative food systems worldwide with examples especially from the Netherlands and Russia. With this book Harry Donkers aims at motivating local producers, entrepreneurs, consumers, citizens, local institutions and local governments as well as societal organizations to start a dialogue and to work together to exhaust all possibilities of local production.

Please find more information here.

Manual about “How to build your own small vertical garden”

August 25, 2015

This book is a manual that will show you how to build and run a simple hydroponics system with some inexpensive IKEA boxes this system is called ELIOOO. The hydroponics techniques used are adapted to make them easy to use at home. This meant that you become a farmer, perhaps an urban farmer. However this book is not a book on urban farming nor is it a general book about hydroponics. This book is a manual that will show you how to build and run a cheap and simply hydroponic system. 

Please find more information about the designer and the book with extracts here.

Okra Handbook: Global Production, Processing, and Crop Improvement published

August 11, 2015

Okra has long been exploited as a nutritious vegetable for humans, and fodder for livestock. But its potential as an oilseed crop and its drought tolerance in a world facing global warming underscore its growing importance in sustainable agriculture. Written by global experts in their fields of specialization, this is the first book exclusively on okra. It provides a single source of in-depth and detailed information. Agricultural universities, research institutes, libraries, government agricultural departments, vegetable crop breeders, and seed companies will find this book invaluable.


"The first comprehensive review devoted exclusively to okra…offer[s] a varied perspective on issues related to the crop."
-- Economic Botany


Please find the table of contents and ordering information here.

New publication on whether we produce enough fruits and vegetables to meet global health needs?


Siegel, K.R., Ali, M.K., Srinivasiah, A., Nugent, R.A., Narayan, K.V., 2014. Do we produce enough fruits and vegetables to meet global health need?

New Publication on building resilience by improving health, nutrition,and knowledge


J.D.H. Keatinge, D. Virchow, M. Mecozzi, T. Dubois, I. Elouafi and R-Y.Yang. (2014). Building resilience in healthy landscapes for men, women, children and communities through fruit and vegetable horticulture. In: Building Resilience for Food & Nutrition Security. IFPRI: Washington

Invitation to submit manuscript to new science journal

December 3, 2013


Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems: Climate Change, Social Changes, Technological Development (CASES) is a new open source journal launched by Versita (


The scope of CASES is to publish original papers, review and synthesis papers, and short communications, and research letters addressing an interdisciplinary point of view on change and adaptation of socio-ecological systems from management unit level to policy level. Thematically, CASES aims to address all studies that have a focus on the impact of global change and climate change, on functioning or services of socio-ecological systems and related human-environment interactions, on understanding, monitoring and proposing innovative approaches, tools and technologies to adapt and bring forward system management and development.


The authors are offered a variety of benefits: 

  • transparent, comprehensive and fast peer review;
  • language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions;
  •  convenient, web-based manuscript submission and tracking system;
  •  efficient route to fast-track publication and full advantage of Versita's e-technology;
  •  no publication charge in the first two annual volumes.

Weedsbook – The African Weed Science Network

October 23, 2013

Weedsbook is the online African Weed Science Network ( It is a bilingual (English/French) open-access, online exchange platform for professionals working on weeds in Africa
It currently has more than 240 members from all over Africa and Europe. Weed science is a scarcely practiced discipline in Africa, yet the regional economic impact of weeds is enormous. Weedsbook has been established to better inform weed scientists in the region and to enhance the outreach of their work.
Weedsbook contains discussion groups on topics such as weed identification, management, distribution and parasitic weeds. Members can discuss, ask questions or get assistance for instance with the identification of encountered weed species.
Weedsbook provides recent relevant scientific publications and guides to weed identification, management recommendations, and information on research grants and scholarships and it enables members to share relevant news such as outcomes from their work and to upload or download photos, videos or other media.
Each member can generate a personal profile with information on their work, contact details and relevant internet links. It enables members to inform other members on their expertise and interests which in turn helps to link up with relevant new partners.
Weedsbook is open-access and easy to use, and it enables you to:
Enhance your network of peers
Share, communicate and learn
Get assistance or provide assistance  on weed related queries
Be alerted on new weed science products, or announce your own products
Be informed (or inform your peers) on new funding opportunities, conferences and other relevant events
Membership is open and free:
1.Go to -> click on ‘Register’ ->
2.Complete the form -> click on ‘Register’ -> confirm the Weedsbook e-mail sent to your e-mail address  
3.At first use: enter your user name and password and click on ‘Login’
For help or other queries, please contact Dr Jonne Rodenburg  (AfricaRice):

The African Seed Health Centre, Sokoine University, Morogoro, Tanzania

They provide a comprehensive seed health training programme consisting of short term individual/group courses and long-term education through research projects leading to post-graduate qualifications (Diploma, M.Sc, PhD level and others.  Click here for further details.

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