This year marks the 50th anniversary of the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) opening its doors in Taiwan. For half a century, the organization has been a research and development pioneer for the promotion of healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods through greater diversity in what we grow and eat. WorldVeg's impact in south and central Asia is evident in improved yields from new vegetable varieties and adoption of integrated pest management that benefits millions of smallholder farmers across the region today.

Formerly the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC), WorldVeg has had projects in India and the region from the very beginning. As work developed and expanded, WorldVeg established its own office in India in 2006, first within ICRISAT, and now as part of its own facility on the ICRISAT campus.

For all that has been accomplished, we are indebted to the visionary support of WorldVeg management and long-term donors, especially Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the expertise and energy and the Center’s staff's and those of our many partners. The following are some a few selected impacts to give an indication, with many more across all countries in the region.

1.2 million farmers across India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar use improved mungbean seeds developed from Worldveg material, and that are today, grown on at least 1.7 million hectares,.
500,000 Indian farmers enjoy better yields from tomato and chili pepper varieties developed from WorldVeg genetic material.
Training programs led by WorldVeg and its partners have led to a 48% increase in farmer incomes in Bangladesh's kharif season, and integrated pest management alone boosted profits from brinjal production by 29%, and cut pesticide use by 30%.

WorldVeg South and Central Asia has collaborated with built trusting partnership with numerous international and regional donors over the years, including the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), UK Department for International Development (DFID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, as well as a number of state governments in India. Some notable projects and partnerships include:
SAVERNET (1997-2003) for

cross-country training and IPM [https://avrdc.org/wpfb-file/savernet-i-pdf/]
CACVEG (since 2006) enhancing vegetable research in Central Asia and Caucasus [https://avrdc.org/back-to-cac/]
International Mungbean Improvement Network (since 2006) [https://avrdc.org/intl-mungbean-network/]
Asia-Pacific Seed Alliance-WorldVeg Seed Breeding Consortium [https://web.apsaseed.org/apsa-worldveg-consortium]

Strengthening connections with international and local organizations is key for sustainable interventions. Our dedication to innovation and collaboration will drive lasting change across the region to improve production and consumption of vegetables for sustainable food systems.

Keynote Quotes

Dr. Marco Wopereis, Director General, WorldVeg
“We are very proud of our 50 years of existence, but our work is far from over. Our vision, for healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods through greater diversity in what we grow and eat, is more relevant than ever. Every country in the world is affected by malnutrition, and three billion people suffer from poor quality diets. Vegetables are often too expensive, or are simply not be available. People may be worried about excessive pesticide use, or they may just prefer junk food. Vegetables, like other nutritious foods, like fruit, pulses, millet and sorghum, mustgain more space on the farm and on the plate."

Dr. Ram Nair, Regional Director, South and Central Asia, WorldVeg
"With the rising health issues related to poor dietary habits, promotion of consumption of vegetables is very important. The region is diverse and has large development needs; there are many opportunities for WorldVeg to expand involvement across the region."

Dr. Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT
"Science is really great…we need that groundbreaking knowledge. But what use is it if it sits on a shelf? It’s got to reach people."
"WorldVeg has been sowing seeds and meeting needs for 50 years. We want to be a part of the next 50 with you."

For further information, requests for photos, more facts, figure or quotes, please contact….
Ramakrishnan Madhavan Nair, WorldVeg Regional Director, +91 81296 43917 - ramakrishnan.nair@worldveg.org
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