The significance of organic horticulture in mitigating climate change and promoting the production of healthier fruits and vegetables

June 07, 2024 | Applied Sciences |

The University of Fort Hare and Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa collaborated on a study investigating how organic horticulture can mitigate climate change while promoting the production of healthier fruits and vegetables. Organic horticulture is a holistic management system that emphasizes good production practices, enhancing soil biological activity, biodiversity, and biological cycles. This practice supports the green economy and offers significant environmental and health benefits.

Over the past decade, there has been a marked increase in the production and consumption of organically certified agricultural products. For instance, France experienced an 18% growth in this sector due to the higher nutritional value of vitamin C (27%) and polyphenol content (72%) in organic products, along with a 70% reduction in harmful chemical exposure and improved organoleptic properties. Between 2012 and 2020, the European Union's organic sector saw a 56% expansion in organic land area, a 40% increase in organic producers, and a 114% rise in retail sales.

The review aimed to assess the impact of organic horticulture on climate change mitigation and consumer needs. Key research areas included soil health and management, pest and disease management, climate resilience and adaptation, carbon sequestration, market and consumer preferences, and policy and institutional support. The study concluded that further research is needed to optimize farming systems and pedoclimatic conditions for more efficient horticultural practices.

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