'Horticulture depends on strong research'

A strong research and development base is crucial to finding new ways to develop the production horticulture industry, a British Growers-run conference in Peterborough heard on 29 April.

Ward: “Improved quality” - image: HW
Ward: “Improved quality” - image: HW

British Growers chief executive Jack Ward said: "UK growers are operating in a very competitive environment. They are expected to continue to deliver better value, more choice and improved quality against a background of deflated food prices. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and its specialist horticultural arm, AHDB Horticulture (formerly the Horticultural Development Company), have a crucial role to play in helping growers to meet these challenges."

He added: "Each season growers are encountering different threats to crops from pests and diseases and it is vital that there is an effective process in place to ensure a pipeline of new products."

Recently appointed AHDB chief executive Jane King highlighted access to new technology, greater automation, faster approval for new biopesticides and attracting new entrants as key issues facing the industry.

"We work hard to maintain and enhance the crop protection toolbox for growers," she added.

"We also continue to work with others to raise the profile of UK horticulture, but this can only be achieved through a collaborative effort."


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