Special Issue "Horticulture in the Time of COVID-19"

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021) | Viewed by 4262

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Roberta Bulgari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Forest, and Food Sciences, DISAFA, Vegetable Crops and Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, VEGMAP, University of Turin, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy
Interests: horticulture; abiotic stress; biostimulant; soilless cultivation; microgreens; vegetable quality; ornamentals; postharvest quality
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, has led to a blockage in the supply of fresh food, highlighting the vulnerability of the global agri-food system. Lockdown measures have slowed down fresh produce supply in long-distance distribution chains and might have left communities in small towns with limited availability of food due to the lack of big grocery stores. The pandemic may have triggered disruptions in the food supply chain and, particularly, in fresh produce, both at commercial and household levels.

In addition, mobility restrictions have occurred in many countries, and social distancing has left people distressed and vulnerable, but also with a larger availability of spare time. This situation has led to a revitalization of home gardening. This global health problem has favored leisure activities related to flowers and ornamental plants, of which the therapeutic and calming effects are being increasingly recognized. Even self-care has occurred due to a higher demand for relief, highlighting the lack of access to botanicals.

How was horticulture affected by SARS-CoV-2? The aim of this Special Issue is to gather knowledge regarding reactions to the pandemic that occurred worldwide in the horticultural sector and, also, on the confinement of people. This Special Issue covers reviews and specific studies on how horticulture was influenced by the pandemic, considering changes in the food production and supply chain, in citizen’s behavior and demand for fresh food being locally vs. remotely produced and commercial vs. self-produced. In addition, reviews and case studies related to floriculture are pertinent, taking into account that the pandemic also caused a worldwide crisis in this sector and that the practice of activities such as gardening became important for health and wellbeing. New reactions and approaches to botanicals are also of interest. Prospects for  resilience of the horticultural sector, enduring changes caused by SARS-CoV-2, are also welcome. 

Dr. Andrea Ertani
Dr. Roberta Bulgari
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Horticulturae is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • coronavirus
  • pandemic
  • resilience
  • innovation
  • technology
  • food supply chain
  • urban horticulture
  • floriculture
  • urban landscape
  • botanicals

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Householders Attitude, Preferences, and Willingness to Have Home Garden at Time of Pandemics
Horticulturae 2022, 8(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8010056 - 08 Jan 2022
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Abstract
The value of home gardens has become more apparent among tenants forced into isolation in difficult and uncertain times arising since the COVID-19 pandemic started at the beginning of 2020. While gardens make a significant contribution to the social and ecological environment of [...] Read more.
The value of home gardens has become more apparent among tenants forced into isolation in difficult and uncertain times arising since the COVID-19 pandemic started at the beginning of 2020. While gardens make a significant contribution to the social and ecological environment of cities, most studies have focused on public green spaces. Investigating householder preferences for gardens during and after the mandatory lockdown period in the UAE is required. The main objective of this study is to analyze the householder’s attitude, preferences, and willingness to have home gardens during the pandemic and after. The data were collected via an online survey of randomly selected respondents. A logistic econometrical model was utilized to analyze the factors affecting respondent preferences regarding having a garden. According to the results, the probability of having a garden increases among respondents who produce some crops, have attained Msc/PhD. level, a backyard, and a larger space to cultivate. It decreases among those who are married, find it hard to take care of a garden, and face a weed problem. In conclusions, it is highly recommended for householders to have home gardens, which can provide a quality lifestyle and enhance leisure time during the pandemic and after. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticulture in the Time of COVID-19)
Article
Identifying Critical Issues in the Horticulture Industry: A Delphi Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Horticulturae 2021, 7(11), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110416 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
The horticulture industry provides significant contributions to society, including healthy foods, economic development, recreation and leisure activities, among others. However, there are critical issues facing the horticulture industry which should be illuminated to ensure ongoing vitality and relevance, particularly within the COVID-19 pandemic [...] Read more.
The horticulture industry provides significant contributions to society, including healthy foods, economic development, recreation and leisure activities, among others. However, there are critical issues facing the horticulture industry which should be illuminated to ensure ongoing vitality and relevance, particularly within the COVID-19 pandemic context. The present study used the Delphi Technique to identify the most critical issues facing the horticulture industry as perceived by a panel of industry experts. Data were collected from February to October 2020 and thus preceded the initial declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic through the lifting of stay-at-home orders in most states. The expert panel arrived at a consensus on 34 specific issues, five of which were specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the Constant Comparative Method, the issues were thematically analyzed and grouped into five primary categories, including (alphabetically ordered): (1) disease and pest management, (2) education, research, and recruitment, (3) environmental conditions and natural resource availability, (4) labor challenges and considerations, and (5) production challenges and innovations. The results of the study provide a framework for both academic and practitioner audiences to identify critical focus areas for the industry within a COVID-19 context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticulture in the Time of COVID-19)

Review

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Review
The Impact of COVID-19 on Horticulture: Critical Issues and Opportunities Derived from an Unexpected Occurrence
Horticulturae 2021, 7(6), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7060124 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2784
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing many victims worldwide and has generated a serious economic crisis. Substantial changes have occurred in the food and ornamental production chains. The aim of the present review has been to summarize some of the main effects that the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing many victims worldwide and has generated a serious economic crisis. Substantial changes have occurred in the food and ornamental production chains. The aim of the present review has been to summarize some of the main effects that the pandemic is having on horticulture and on the new habits of people. Infections and quarantine measures have prevented the regular flow of certain goods and of connected services. Cases of shortages and/or surpluses, a lack of the availability of labor, and a reduction in demand for some food products and flowers have occurred. New food production approaches have emerged and a reconnection between farmers and consumers has been spreading, thereby facilitating product distribution. Moreover, during the forced isolation, people have had to face periods of stress. The benefits that can be derived from leisure activities related to flowers and ornamental plants, and from access to nature and urban green spaces are increasingly being recognized as relevant. The seriousness of the pandemic will inevitably lead to lasting changes. Therefore, the vulnerability of the pre-COVID-19 distribution chains should be considered and a new food production chain should be drawn up, to increase the resilience of such systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticulture in the Time of COVID-19)
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