The horticulture industry has released a new strategy that aims to double farmgate revenue to $12 billion by 2035.
The government funded action plan was launched in Gisborne today. It is focused on growing the production and sale of fruit, vegetables and nuts in both the domestic and export markets.
The plan excludes the forestry, wine, floriculture and stock feed sectors.
The Aotearoa Horticulture Action Plan notes for the industry to achieve the 2035 target, as well as respond to climate change and maintain its social licence, there needs to be a clear and agreed approach.
“We are facing an environment where new growing techniques, practices and regions are needed in order to maintain domestic food supply and have a viable export industry under a changing climate,” the document said.
The document said the sector needed to attract and retain workers, make sure consumer needs were well understood and partner with Māori to triple participation in high-value horticulture.
There also needed to be a strong research and development programme in place and a focus on improving sustainability of the sector.
Horticulture New Zealand chief executive, Nadine Tunley, said the development of the action plan was a collaborative effort between industry, government, Māori and the science community.
“The actions range from identifying energy-intensive areas of the horticulture value chain and supporting conversion to systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to improving crop management and protection,” she said.
Associate Minister of Agriculture Meka Whaitiri said the strategy would further realise the potential of Māori horticulture and deliver economic opportunities.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said primary sector exports were vital to New Zealand’s economic security.
O’Connor said the industry was already heading in the right direction, with horticulture exports expected to top a record $7.1 billion in the year to 30 June 2023.
“Consumers here and around the world continue to demand high quality and nutritious fresh fruit and vegetables to boost their well-being. Food security is a growing issue globally and we also want to ensure New Zealanders have access to affordable food.”
A governance group will now be established to help implement the Action Plan.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz