Horticulture impacts our lives on a daily basis. It provides us with nutritious fruits and vegetables, offering visual enjoyment, and promoting recreational activities.
Horticultural production is primarily involved in the intensive use of resources, such as land, water, labour and inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. The use of such resources in a concentrated space has the potential to negatively impact the local environment and worker welfare.
Horticulture is defined as the science and art of growing vegetables, fruits, flowers or ornamental plants.
Flowers and ornamental plants enrich our homes and communities and contribute to our sense of well-being.
Land occupied by the horticultural industry is limited. Thus, to sustain crop productivity, it is essential that we maintain a fertile and productive resource.
Land and soil degradation caused by erosion reduces soil fertility and causes pollution. This, in turn, hinders the biosecurity of future production.
According to Fischer et al. 2007, horticulture and agriculture combined is the largest user of freshwater, accounting for 70% of all blue water withdrawals worldwide.
The environmental impact of horticulture production is entering a cyclical relationship with the impact on horticulture from environmental change.
One of the major ways horticultural producers reduce their impact on the environment is through the adoption of technical solutions. Such as greenhouse technologies.
As greenhouses are accountable for the largest levels of CO2 emissions within horticulture, energy conservation and efficiency must, therefore, be optimized.
Water is a vital resource to horticultural production, but the security of supply across the globe is decreasing.
However, the climate change we are experiencing today is as a result of practices totally outside horticulture.
In future, global warming and the environmental impact on horticultural production may be a major concern than horticulture’s impact on the environment.
In conclusion, the totality of horticulture has an impact on the environment.