Today, growing the fruits and vegetables is one of the most attractive industries for investment in agriculture. During the last ten years, the global production of vegetables has increased from 500 million tons to 1 billion tons. Every year, an increase in vegetable production is about 100 million tons. The leading countries in this industry are China, with a production volume of 400 million tons of products; India – 80; U.S. – 40; and Turkey – 25 million. Technological development is very important in the market economy system. It has become a qualitatively new aspect of agro-industrial production. The innovation activates the production, improves the quality and competitiveness of the products grown, and then – improves the economic performance (Farr 2004).
The biological innovations (the varieties and hybrids of the cultures), which are especially relevant during the change of philosophy, have indisputable priority in modern scientific research. This occurs because their distribution (implementation) is opposed to the technical, chemical, and technological innovations that do not require large investment of the resources. Thus, recently many schemes have been used in growing the vegetable and fruits. Many new opportunities have arisen from climate change. Not long ago, the recycled water from the urban areas has been used for crop production. The quality standards for export of a fresh fruit and vegetable products have been changed, capturing the expanding senior citizens market (Farr 2004).
Climate Change and New Opportunities
The main mechanisms that ensure the stability of temperature on Earth are the solar radiation and greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases hold a significant share of thermal radiation after reflecting the solar energy from the surface of the Earth and create the conditions for life on Earth. Due to this, the temperature on Earth increases to 33 °C. Without the greenhouse effect the temperature near the surface of Earth would not exceed even 18 °C (Armstrong, Susan and Botzler 2007). However, during the years of industrialization the content of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has noticeably increased. During the last century the planet temperature increased by 0.6 °C. This provoked the process of so-called “greenhouse effect.” The key reason for this is the carbon dioxide emissions that are produced mainly by the large factories. Thus, the temperature of the atmosphere is growing very fast each year. The central consequences of the global warming are glaciers melting. Scientists predict that by 2100 ocean level would rise by 50 cm and flood some low-lying areas (Foltz, Bruce and Frodeman 2004). Other projected effects are the natural disasters: droughts, floods, hurricanes, which in particular lead to extinction of forests and individual species. In addition, the destruction of the ozone layer allows harmful radiation to reach Earth, which afterwards causes the variety of the diseases for people, animals, and plants.
The agriculture industry, particularly in the field of growing the fruits and vegetables, has undergone the changes as well.
Even though the greenhouse effect is known to be a very harmful process, the agriculture industry tries to use this process in order to receive the positive results. Thus, many new opportunities have arisen from climate change in the field of agriculture. First of all, the different types of vegetables and fruits were created. It should be noted, that the green house effect has influenced the climatic zones greatly (Lobell et al. 2008).
The climate has changed differently in the world, therefore, many new approaches has appeared in many parts of the world. Researchers from the California State University, Fresno have created a new method of growing the wine: the berries ripen in the cold months. The winemakers are confident that this will significantly improve the quality of wine produced. The method is as follows: from the grown grapes the buds, leaves, and lateral shoots are removed. The second buds appear within a few weeks, and their wine is left for further growth. As a result, the grapes ripen later, and with lower temperatures. According to scientists, this technique will allow the grapes to have the improved performance for the high-quality wines, smaller berries, higher acidity, and lower level of pH. The produced wines are richer in color, and have a higher level of tannins and phenolics, the intense aroma and flavor after using this type of growing grapes. Consequently, the wine, which was made using this technique that become available just because of the climate change, have a much better potential for storage (Lobell et al. 2008).
The climate change was used by the Israeli scientists who have investigated the new method of growing the paper. The severe climatic conditions of the Negev desert in Israel, with a pronounced continental climate, provided the basis for the development of new technologies and have been turned into a competitive advantage – the ripening period of fruits and vegetables in Israel coincides with the season of high market prices in Europe. The farms in the south, where the winter rainfall is less than 40 mm of rain, the strong winds and the frequent frosts are possible, and the summer temperatures regularly exceed 40 degrees, they grow root crops, vegetables, flowers, watermelons, melons, grapes, mango, citrus, intended for delivery to the export. Increasingly high hydroponics and other modern methods of cultivation are used. Due to this fact, the varieties of vegetables and fruits that can grow in saline soils and allow for irrigation water with a high content of salts and minerals were derived. Only in the south of the country, 50 varieties of red pepper, 25 varieties of yellow sweet pepper, and 10 varieties of orange bell pepper were grown in 2011 and 2012. At the same time, at different stages of development and testing, there are over 50 new types and varieties of peppers (Drake, Gonzalez-Meler and Long 1997). To conclude, the climatic changes have introduced many new possibilities to the farmers all over the world.
Recycled Water for Crop Production
The changes in the chemical and physical condition and biological characteristics of water, limiting its further use, are the main aspects of the polluted water. The second major consumer of water is agriculture industry, which goes after the hard industry. The water in agriculture is used for irrigation. The run-off of water saturated with salt solutions and soil particles and residues of chemicals enhance the productivity. These include insecticides and fungicides, which are sprayed over the orchards and crops, herbicides, famous means of weed control, and other pesticides, as well as organic and inorganic fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other chemical elements. In addition to the chemical compounds, a large amount of feces and other organic residues from the farms where the meat and dairy cattle, swine or poultry are produced, get in the river. Many organic wastes also come in the processing of agricultural products such as cutting carcasses, processing of leather, manufacturing of food products and canned goods, etc. (Asano et al. 2007).
An agricultural land accounts for about 1,500 million hectares. About 1,100 million hectares (73%) are grown without the use of the water system. Thus, out of 270 million hectares of irrigation system, the amount used for irrigation and drainage system is only 60 million hectares. Approximately 130 million hectares are used only as a drainage system. Irrigated agriculture is responsible for 70-90% of water withdrawals from surface or underground water sources. At the global level every year about 7,000 billion cubic meters of water are needed to produce food, which is about 1100 m3/cap/yr. 1,800 billion cubic meters of which comes from irrigation, other 5200 billion cubic meters are formed by precipitation (Asano et al. 2007).
In order to increase the productivity in the agricultural industry, the efficiency of irrigation systems should be improved by reducing losses, improving systems, changing irrigation technologies, improved operation and maintenance. In addition, the major aspect in the potential improvement is the usage of the recycled water. The potential savings due to this is of 300-500 billion cubic meters (the maximum value was estimated as the difference between water withdrawal and the consumption for irrigation, knowing that this difference is formed not only due to the loss pressure) on a global scale (Asano et al. 2007).
Quality Standards for Export: Melon Example
Each year new quality standards for export of fresh fruit and vegetables have been appearing. Thus, according to the UN (United Nation) standards the two stages of export are implied:
• A slight lack of the freshness and turgidity of the fruits and vegetables.
• A slight deterioration due to their development and tendency to perish.
One of the documents further construes that “the holder/seller of the products may not display such products or offer them for sale, deliver or market them in any other kind of manner, in accordance with this standard. The holder / seller shall be responsible for the observing such as compliance” (UNECE Standard FFV-23 2010). For example, to all the types of the melons the special provisions are predicted. Those melons, which can be exported, have the following constituents: “intact; sound, produce affected by rotting or deterioration rendering it unfit for the consumption is excluded; practically free of any visible foreign matter; fresh in appearance; practically free from pests; and without affecting the flesh damage caused by insect pest; they should be solid; free of abnormal external moisture; free of any foreign smell and/or taste” (UNECE Standard FFV-23 2010). The development and condition of the melons must bе such аs to enable them: tо withstand the transportation and handling and to arrive аt their destination іn goоd condition. The melons must bе sufficiently devеloped and display satisfactory ripeness.
In short, on the example of the melon`s standards it can be observed that many new standards in export of fruits and vegetable have appeared in order to provide the quality product to the customer.
Expanding Senior Citizens Market
In conclusion, many opportunities have arisen for the senior citizens market. The climate change has influenced a lot. First of all, some sorts of vegetable and fruits can be planted twice a season due to some climatic changes. Secondly, many new techniques were created. They are not very expensive to use and provide great results. Another very profitable and useful innovation is the recycled water usage. Since the agriculture industry uses much water for growing the vegetables and fruits, the mentioned way is the cheapest and the healthiest way to grow the plants. More importantly is that the standards for export have been increased in order to provide the customer with the quality of the products.