DIVERSITY IN PRODUCTION OF FRUITS

The report from FAOSTAT (2010) indicates that globally, fruit production has been increasing continuously in recent years as a result of growing demand. At the same time, the relevance of the fruit producing regions has changed: Asian fruit production has become more important, while production in America and Europe has decreased in importance. One percent of the total global agricultural area is allocated to permanent crops and orchards. In the Mediterranean region (which includes countries such as Lebanon, Israel, Tunisia, etc., in addition to the European Mediterranean countries), the percentage of agricultural land under permanent crops and orchards is much higher. Further, the Mediterranean region provided around 11% of global fruit production in 2010 (excluding grapes). In the Europe and Central Asia region, the highest proportion of permanent crop area in the total agricultural land is in South East Europe with 4.4%. In the Caucasus and Turkey, this figure is around 1.6%, while for the sub-regions of Central Asia and CIS Europe, the area planted with permanent crops is lower than the global average of 1% with the exception of Republic of Moldova and Tajikistan. The region of Europe and Central Asia, as a whole, is home to 10% of the global orchards area and also provides 10% of global fruit production with 54 million tons produced in 2010. The largest regional producers, namely, Turkey, Italy, Spain, and France, account for around 57% of the regional total. For the region as a whole, the average yield between 2001 and 2010 was substantially higher than between 1991 and 2000 period. Southeastern Europe doubled its fruit production and in Central Asia production increased by 60%. However, the sub-regions of CIS Europe and EU other and EFTA experienced slight decreases in the yield over the same period.

A large variety of fruits are grown in diverse agro-climatic zones in India. According to the Indian Horticultural Database 2017 of the National Horticulture Board (under the Union ministry of agriculture), total production of fruits in the country in 2016-2017 was 92.84 million tons, from an area of

6.4 million hectares. The main fruits grown in the country are bananas and mangoes, accounting for 38% and 19% of total fruit production, respectively. Other major fruits are citrus fruits, papaya, guava, grapes, pineapple, sapota, pomegranate, and litchi. Major plantation crops are coconut, cashewnut, arecanut, and cocoa.

In terms of production, the major fruit-producing states are Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, accounting for 13% and 11.2% of total production respectively, followed by Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, J&K, Orissa, and Punjab. Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are the leading cashewnut producing states, followed by Orissa and Kerala. Kerala is the leading producer of arecanut, coconut, and cocoa.

DIVERSITY IN CONSUMPTION

It has been recommended that an intake of 400 g fruit and vegetables should be included in the daily diet to protect against disease (World Health Organization, 1990). Currently in the United Kingdom the mean daily intake of fruit and vegetables is 310 g/person (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, 1999). However, there are large variations in intake between regions, social classes and gender, and many differences exist between the highest and lowest consumers of fruit and vegetables. It has been found that individuals with higher education, income and social status have a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables than those with lower education, income and social class status (Johansson and Andersen, 1998; McClelland et al., 1998) In the Health Education Authority’s Health and Lifestyle Survey of 1993, it was found that the main demographic characteristics that distinguished between low and high fruit and vegetable consumers were age, gender and smoking status (Thompson et al., 1999). It is these demographic characteristics that perhaps exhibit the strongest variations in intakes of fruit and vegetables, with women consuming more fruits and vegetables than men and older adults consuming more than the younger generations (McClelland et al., 1998). A study of a random sample of 9003 British adults found that frequent fruit consumption was “associated with middle age, non-manual socioeconomic groups, non- and ex-smokers,” “sensible” drinkers, small households, the south of the country and people with self-assessed “excellent” or “good health” (Whichelow and Prevost, 1996).

Mean per person intakes have been observed low in all countries studied [3.76 servings (95% Cl 3.66-3.86) per day], and ranged from 2.14 servings (1.93-2.36) per day in low-income countries to 5.42 servings (5.13-5.71) per day in high income countries. Affordability of fruits decreased as the economic level of countries decreased; the proportion of household income required to purchase recommended quantities (two seivings of fruits and three seivings of vegetables) ranged from 1.85% (95% Cl -3.90 to 7.59) in high-income countries to 51.97% (46.06-57.88) in low-income countries. Consumption of fruits and vegetables decreased with affordability.

The nutritional intake from fruits and vegetables is higher among urban population than that of rural population. Along with the urbanization, people are likely to increase their calorie intake at a higher pace through fruits and vegetables. The increase in calorie intake is more than 10% in urban area whereas it is merely 1.89% in rural area over the period from 2004-2005 to 2009-2010. It is estimated that per capita fruits availability in India is 200.6

g per day which is far below the recommended quantity of 230 g per capita per day.

Price, seasonality, perishability, nutritional content, origin, and quality are factors related to food production, while accessibility and variety are important aspects of how the food is distributed and reaches consumers. Additionally, factors such as income, education, gender, culture, and so on, may also have a significant impact on fruit consumption.

FOOD POLICIES

Over the years, nutrition and dietary guidelines have moved from focusing solely on nutrient intakes and nutrient adequacy to recommendations that are more food-based and aimed toward health maintenance and food safety. In 2002, the WHO issued guidelines and policies for national cancer control programs (WHO, 2002). These emphasized improved diet and increased fruit and vegetable intake as essential parts of the approach to cancer prevention. Ajoint WHO/FAO Teclmical Report (WHO, 2003) made it clear that a growing epidemic of chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and some types of cancer, afflicting both developed and developing countries, is related to dietary and lifestyle changes, often linked to industrialization, urbanization, economic development, and market globalization. While standards of living and food availability have improved, there have also been negative consequences in tenns of unfavorable dietary patterns and decreased physical activity. Fruit and vegetable intake still varies considerably between countries, in large part reflecting the prevailing economic, cultural and agricultural environments. The WHO/FAO report emphasized the need for concerted efforts to improve diet, with increasing intake of fruit and vegetables, and for a lifelong approach to healthy eating. The World Cancer Research Fund review (WCRFAICR, 1997) estimated that a simple change, such as eating the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, could by itself reduce cancer rates more than 20%. The first recommendation of the American Cancer Society's Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention (Byers et al., 2002) is to eat a variety of healthful foods with an emphasis on plant sources and specifically to “eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.” The WHO/ FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Chronic Disease (WHO, 2003) recommends consuming at least 400 g of fruit and vegetables per day.

CAMPAIGNS TO INCREASE FRUIT CONSUMPTION

Over the past 20 years, a variety of campaigns have been conducted to inform individuals of the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption. Health policy objectives and international and national dietaiy guidelines have served as the foundation for these campaigns. The campaigns have included large national programs, regional efforts and local programs to develop and implement dietary guidelines in order to increase fruit and vegetable intake. The campaigns have used information developed in earlier community intervention studies (Puska et al., 1983; Farquhar et al., 1990; Luepker et al., 1994) and recommendations about implementing community- based programs (WHO, 1998). During the late 1980s, state projects were conducted in California. Australia, Canada, and some European countries to develop programs and campaigns on fruit and vegetables; these provided valuable experience for further development and national expansion of fruit and vegetable campaigns (Foerster et al., 1995; Miller et al., 1996; Dixon et al., 1998; Farrell et al., 2000). Recent campaigns have expanded social marketing approaches and community-based implementation methods and draw on the scientific credibility of sponsorship by national, state, and local health institutions. A major element is partnerships between health agencies, nongovernmental organizations for cancer or heart disease prevention and the fruit and vegetable industry and agricultural groups. The first national initiative was the US National Cancer Institute’s 5-A-Day for Better Health Program, initiated in 1991. The methods in this program and the experience gained have provided a model for many programs to develop national partnerships for development and implementation of fruit and vegetable campaigns (National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, 2001). A variety of campaigns conducted predominantly in Europe and North America have focused on the 5-A-Day theme for recommendation of fruit intake. In these, program partners work together to develop, implement and evaluate interventions. Such campaigns disseminate messages and conduct activities aimed at behavioral change in relation to fruit intake, involving a variety of components: media and communications; point of sale interventions; community-level programs, including public health agencies, school-based and worksite programs; partnership activities with the food industry, retailers and fruit and vegetable producers; and research efforts. Media components are implemented in complementary ways at the national or state level and at the local level.

It has been suggested that the Danish “6 A Day” and the British “Food Dudes” programs have been more successful in increasing fruit consumption, while the “Go for 2&5,” “Fruits & Veggies—More Matters” and “5+A Day” programs were more effective in increasing awareness, rather than actual consumption among consumers. Existing interventions have only led to a small to medium increase in the actual consumption of fruits, which is not sufficient to meet the WHO recommendation.

 
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