Major parts of the country continue to be severely affected by the unstable security situation. In a few districts and particularly in the western and central-eastern provinces, the horticultural sector is presently in a more advanced stage of development. Future technical assistance programmes on horticulture should then focus on these areas, involving a wider participation of farming communities.
An irrigation water deficit remains a very serious limiting factor to crop production. The rehabilitation of irrigation structures and the training of farmers on improved water resources management practices should be considered top priorities as part of integrated programmes for crop production development.
Farmers show an evident lack of horticulture technical know-how; a long-term horticulture programme should aim at the development of community-based extension schemes promoting a farmers field school approach and "Integrated Production and Protection" (IPP) practices.
The country possesses a valuable collection of local genetic resources of fruit species, which are still preserved in the collection block of the nine identified nucleus nurseries. Any future intervention in the horticulture fruit sector should therefore give priority to the conservation of the indigenous resources, their characterization, evaluation and further multiplication.
Once a stable level of security in the country has been established, reactivation of the local fruit trees market will be facilitated. Immediate assistance should be given to private farmers who are willing to rehabilitate their fruit nurseries, providing them with the appropriate technical training on fruit tree propagation and management.
Most farmers face difficulties in accessing quality agricultural inputs and farm equipment at affordable prices. Assistance will be required to monitor this market sector in order to provide information to private entrepreneurs and community organizations on technical specifications and sources of agricultural inputs.
Peri-urban horticultural crop production creates job opportunities for urban and periurban populations while also contributing to the alleviation of poverty and malnutrition in these areas. Farmers show a very strong interest in cultivating high value vegetable crops, which could provide a good source of immediate income, and in innovative agricultural practices to achieve better yields. Support should be given to vegetable crop production in peri-urban areas be considered a concomitant component in any horticultural crop production programme.