This paper examines the implications of the demand for ethno-cultural vegetables (ECV) by South-Asians, the largest cultural group in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), on their potential for Ontario agricultural economic development and significant consumer health benefits. A conceptual framework is presented to explain the relationship among factors such as change in demographics, demand for locally produced ECV and both the potential agricultural and health benefits. Analysis of cross-sectional data collected in 2009 also indicates that the respondents have certain characteristics that are pertinent to understanding why they shop in particular stores and their perceptions about what constitutes quality. In sum, household size and percentage spent on vegetables predict their expenditure on ECV, an indication that South-Asians resident in the GTA will continue to demand their ECV. It is thus a niche market that farmers can explore if its potential economic value to them is clarified and the government can provide sufficient support by increasing awareness and creating appropriate economic incentives for farmers willing to grow these vegetables.
Higher growing season temperatures can have dramatic impacts on agricultural productivity, farm incomes, and food security. We used observational data and output from 23 global climate models to show a high probability (>90%) that growing season temperatures in the tropics and subtropics by the end of the 21st century will exceed the most extreme seasonal temperatures recorded from 1900 to 2006. In temperate regions, the hottest seasons on record will represent the future norm in many locations. We used historical examples to illustrate the magnitude of damage to food systems caused by extreme seasonal heat and show that these short-run events could become long-term trends without sufficient investments in adaptation.