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Market research and increased R&D are the keys to growth for horticulture industry




  • “If already highly developed country like New Zealand is saying it then how come we in Pakistan would expect a better outcome from horticulture sub-sector”…….

    Attendees at Horticulture New Zealand’s annual conference held in Auckland last month were told that intense market research and increased investment i

    n research and development rather than a belief in products was the key to growing exports.

    In his keynote speech on the opening day of the conference Rabobank and Air New Zealand chairman John Palmer stressed that while the horticultural industry had good entrepreneurial incentives, the New Zealand Inc approach to exporting was haphazard and poorly coordinated and needed a collaborative effort with a much keener sense of wider market dynamics.

    “We must research market issues intensely,” Mr Palmer says.

    “The emphasis needs to be on the value chain. We need to understand the market – to understand cost and value chains and how they are changing. We need to understand markets and the key drivers in those markets – otherwise we will be nickel and diming and will lose out to someone else who will take the opportunity.”

    The importance of China and the China regions as key export areas was also stressed in Mr Palmer’s speech.

    “We need to admit most Asian nations are instinctively traders. They have been doing it for thousands of years and we’re just getting started.”

    Mr Palmer believes that much more investment is needed in R&D as well, citing a paltry 16 percent of monies allocated for research going to primary industries.

    “For the last 20 years we have failed to invest enough in R&D in the agricultural sector. We must focus on the value to New Zealand rather than political reaction and decisions,” he says.

    The conference schedule included break-out sessions on subjects currently topical in the horticultural industry, namely food safety, biosecurity, market access and business development.

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