In most highly developed countries, landscaping and ornamental plants are routine components of the urban environment. However, in many Third World countries, this is not the situation outside of the larger cities. Landscaping and ornamentals are associated with hotels, public parks, offices, government buildings, and wealth; they are not significant commodities in rural settings. However, as urban areas in these countries—such as Senegal—expand and modernize, there is an increased demand for ornamental plants. Senegal’s urban population has almost doubled during the past five decades, increasing from 23% in 1960 to 43% in 2013. New jobs and sources of income are available for individuals who are properly trained in ornamental plant production and maintenance. Senegal has several rural training centers where some courses in agronomy and vegetable production are taught, but ornamental plant production is not included in the curriculum. This U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Farmer-to-Farmer project was conducted at one of those rural training centers at Djilor to introduce ornamental horticulture into the curriculum and to make students aware of ornamental plant production practices and the opportunities available to them if they become involved in a horticulture business.
Urban horticulture describes economically viable horticultural production activities conducted in a city or suburb. It is a growing segment of horticulture in the United States as well as in developing countries, where the enormous growth of megalopolis is not backed by a simultaneous increase of farmland or agricultural productivity. Today, urban horticulture includes food sovereignty in underprivileged neighborhoods, increased availability of vegetables and fruits in big cities, healthy and diverse diets, improved food safety, low transportation costs, efficient resource use, and the mitigation of environmental impacts of horticultural production such as the emission of greenhouse gases. The workshop “Urban horticulture: From local initiatives to global success stories,” held at the 2018 American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) conference in Washington, DC, featured present and historical success stories of urban horticulture from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the United States.