World Vegetable Center
The World Vegetable Center, an international nonprofit vegetable research and development institute, believes a healthier, more resilient world is possible by creating greater diversity in what we grow and eat.
WorldVeg strives to achieve faster, greater and lasting positive impact on the nutritional status, incomes, and well-being of people—particularly in Africa and Asia—through quality, long-term complementary partnerships in research and development to increase the production and consumption of safe, nutritious and health-promoting vegetables. Founded in 1971 in Taiwan, the WorldVeg global network now covers East and Southeast Asia, Oceania, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Central and West Asia.
WorldVeg research provides small-scale farmers with the knowledge, skills, technologies and opportunities to boost their vegetable yields and increase their incomes. Activities aim to strengthen the entire vegetable value chain, from vegetable seed systems and breeding to market access and nutrition.
The Center implements its science for development agenda through three outcome-oriented ‘flagship programs’: Safe and Sustainable Value Chains, Healthy Diets, and Vegetable Diversity and Improvement, and one cross-cutting flagship program: Enabling Impact. Flagships are gateways to achieving outcomes and impact and each is operationalized through two to four ‘innovation clusters’. Work focuses on research for discovery, piloting new practices and technologies, and scaling them for impact, with an emphasis on continuous improvement of a coherent set of products and services.
The flagships interact with the World Vegetable Center Genebank, which holds the world’s largest public-sector collection of vegetable seed. WorldVeg advanced breeding lines with better pest and disease resistance that can tolerate extremes of flooding, drought, and heat are used throughout the world by plant breeders to develop improved vegetable varieties.
By promoting sound research, good agricultural practices and safe production and postharvest methods through partnerships with national agricultural and research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector, WorldVeg helps growers produce healthier harvests for themselves and consumers while protecting the environment. Integrated crop management strategies include improved vegetable lines, grafting, low-cost drip irrigation, safe pest management, and crop fertilization and rotation systems suited to smallholders.
Protected cultivation in low-cost green- and screenhouses reduces risk and offers opportunities for farmers to intensify and diversify production, tap new markets, and provide the safe food consumers increasingly demand. Postharvest research in grading, transportation, processing, marketing, and distribution helps farmers add value to vegetables, increase their incomes, and provide a more steady supply of vegetables year-round for consumers. WorldVeg strategies for household and school gardens integrated with nutrition education diversify diets and build life-long habits for good health.
WorldVeg works with traditional vegetables—underutilized species with the potential to provide sustenance and much-needed micronutrients to balance staple-heavy diets—and conducts research on the nutritional and nutraceutical qualities of all vegetables for their potential to improve health for individuals, families, and communities. Ongoing programs disseminate and extend these improved technologies to farmers, NGOs, and national agricultural research systems.