According to the World Vegetable Center report, the world’s current food systems are not resulting in increasingly healthy, high-quality diets. "Undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overnutrition affect billions of people worldwide. Low-quality diets—containing too little fruit, vegetables and other wholesome foods, and too much fat, sugar and salt—are adversely affecting human health." They say that increased production and consumption of vegetables contributes to improved nutrition through greater dietary diversity as well as value addition, income gains and job creation in the food supply system, from seed to retail.
"The World Vegetable Center is contributing to this through the development of vegetable varieties that are higher-yielding per unit of land, water, nutrients and labor, more resilient to biotic and abiotic stresses, more nutritious, and with better taste and shelf-life qualities." Vegetable breeding has been at the forefront of the work of the World Vegetable Center since it started operations in 1973. Since then, the Center has amassed a large public collection of vegetable genetic resources, which supports vegetable breeding programs globally.
This report reflects the current thinking within the World Vegetable Center on how their breeding research can contribute to realizing the potential of vegetables for healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods.