Industry urges Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board to improve horticulture

The industry has responded to the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board's (AHDB) consultation on its draft corporate plan for 2011-14, with the HTA saying that the document "underplays" horticulture.

The HTA and NFU urged the AHDB to focus on applied research and development. The HTA said this should be prioritised over marketing and business development initiatives.

It also suggested that the AHDB should focus on providing applied research and development in the ornamental sector and put greater emphasis on the importance of ornamental horticulture to society and the wider environment.

The draft plan identifies agriculture and horticulture roles in tackling climate change and environmental sustainability and analyses challenges and opportunities facing the industry in these areas.

HTA director-general David Gwyther said: "Ornamentals faces an acute shortage of funding for research and development. This is crucial to the future well-being of the industry. The only source of money available is the limited Horticultural Development Company pot. It is vital that this is dedicated to research and development."

- For further details, see your-sector/horticulture/news

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