The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology
Vol. 87 No: 5
Dr. T. Michael A. Wilson
The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology and the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) enjoy and benefit mutually from a close functional relationship that was formalised several years ago.
This is a welcome and strategically sensible development for both parties who share a common mission to promote global horticultural research and development, technology, and education.
My purpose in writing this brief article is to bring your attention to an excellent and very timely ISHS publication entitled: Harvesting the Sun: A Profile of World Horticulture. In June 2012, the 2010-2014 ISHS Board produced this extremely articulate, highly relevant, and impressive 70-page illustrated Report.
The case it makes for increasing worldwide support for horticultural science, in its broadest sense, is powerful, compelling and incisive.
I encourage all subscribers and readers of the Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology to obtain a copy of the full Report, and the accompanying fold-out Summary Leaflet, and to share its messages with as many people as you can.
I hope that both publications will inspire you to campaign for the vital future role that horticultural science must play in securing future supplies of safe and healthy foods for our ever-growing global population.The key contribution that horticulture must deliver in order to overcome this worldwide challenge is all-too-often overlooked or devalued by the popular media, by political decision-makers, and by national research funding agencies.
This Report, and associated material, seeks to expose and reverse these dangerous trends.
A copy of the accompanying ISHS Press Release is reproduced overleaf, together with the necessary link to the online version.
The Press Release, the Summary Leaflet, and the full Report express the major facts and challenges confronting us in a far more eloquent and succinct manner than I could ever achieve.
I commend them to all who value and wish to promote horticultural R&D – and, thereby, really ‘save the planet’ for future generations.
T. Michael A. Wilson CBiol FSB, FRSE -
I S H S
Shedding Light on World Horticulture and Seeking Commitments for a Positive Future
Horticulture has an image problem.
Most people – when they think about horticulture at all – think of the subject in small terms, as merely a pastime synonymous with gardening.
This misconception devalues one of humanity’s most significant scientific, economic, and aesthetic pursuits – and before you dismiss this as an exaggeration, imagine your physical and mental health in a world without fruits and vegetables, parks and play fields, flowers and trees. Consider some of the most pressing questions of this century: Can we feed 9 billion people by 2050 while conserving water, land, atmosphere, and habitat? Can we reverse the human and financial costs of an increasingly popular lifestyle that provides too many calories and too little fiber, vitamins, minerals, and exercise? In emerging countries, can we reduce poverty and improve nutrition by expanding crop production, increasing yields, managing supply chains more effectively, and limiting spoilage and wastage? In wealthier countries where costs for land, water, energy, and labor are high, can we sustain rural livelihoods and conserve open spaces by investing in economically and environmentally sustainable ways to grow fruit, vegetables, ornamental plants, and other specialty crops? Horticulture has a key part to play in tackling each of these challenges, but to attract the necessary talent and resources this green industry must raise its public profile.
Seeking to share horticulture’s scope and value with a wide readership, the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS) has released Harvesting the Sun: A Profile of World Horticulture. This full-color, extensively illustrated 70-page report examines how horticulture touches all of us.
Harvesting the Sun traces the farm-to-table journey using simple language and informative graphics.
It highlights innovations in crop breeding, production, and handling, presenting recent advances in how to control pests and diseases, promote food safety, and minimize post-harvest losses.
It explores how horticulture offers myriad paths to economic growth, and offers insights into how the cultivation of plants nourishes the spirit as well as the body.
Horticulture encompasses a remarkable range of technologies, from sacks of soil that allow landless vegetable gardeners to enrich their diet and income to the automated efficiency of controlled greenhouses, sorting machinery that can sense texture or color, and packaging that combats post-purchase waste by informing customers when produce is at peak ripeness.
Horticulture, which offers employment and advancement opportunities at all educational levels, finds itself in a time of transformation.
The need for knowledge workers like the 7,500 members of ISHS is growing, even as fewer students pursue academic training in horticulture in many universities around the world.
And while the Government-funded extension programs that connect producers with horticultural experts are being cut back in many developed nations, the creation of distance learning networks is allowing farmers in developing countries, many of whom are women, to access global extension services via mobile phones.
Like these evolving extension efforts, Harvesting the Sun brings the benefits of horticultural science to the attention of a wider audience.
ISHS hopes that its publication will spark new interest in the people and processes that coax fruits, roots, leaves, and flowers to yield health, wealth, and beauty worldwide.
We trust that you can use this attractive publication (and the associated brochure) to promote the importance of horticulture and horticultural science to your colleagues, friends, educators, politicians, and policy makers.
Their perspectives on your profession will influence future commitments to education, training, and both public and private investment.
This publication is available on line at www.harvestingthesun.org – contact ISHS for further information
2010-2014 ISHS Board June 2012 International Society for Horticultural Science – Société Internationale de la Science Horticole
ISHS Secretariat – PO Box 500 – 3001 Leuven 1 – Belgium
phone : (+32) 16 22 94 27 – fax : (+32) 16 22 94 50 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – www.ishs.org – www.actahort.org
ISHS members & other users
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