If basic sustenance was the goal of agriculture in the past, improved nutrition must be an equivalent priority for the present and future. The World Vegetable Center seeks to overcome malnutrition and poverty and facilitate good health in developing countries by increasing the production, quality, consumption, and profitability of nutritious vegetables. We promote good agricultural practices, work with partners to create opportunities for employment, and emphasize effective postharvest value addition and marketing mechanisms.
Founded in 1971 as the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) based in Taiwan, the Center’s global operations now cover sub-Saharan Africa, East and Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central and West Asia and North Africa, Oceania, and Central America.
The Center’s plant breeders focus on open- and self-pollinated vegetable crops. We select global and traditional vegetables with enhanced nutrient density and production characteristics appropriate for small-scale producers to breed vegetable lines with tolerance to flooding, drought, heat, and other environmental stresses, and with the ability to maintain yields in more marginal environments. These breeding lines serve as sources for public and private vegetable breeding programs.
We work together with farmers to introduce agronomic practices such as effective integrated pest management and water conservation approaches. To reduce food losses, the Center researches methods to maintain postharvest quality all along the vegetable value chain.