Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Technology helping to make horticulture more attractive

Technology helping to make horticulture more attractive to young people

Efforts by primary stakeholders, helped by the rising prevalence of technology in the horticultural sector, appear to be paying off as more and more young people enter the industry.

Initiatives such as the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 Competition – to be contested on Thursday this week – andT&G Pipfruit’s annual Young Fruit Growers recent competition, which attracted spectators from Hastings Girls High School, are helping to change perceptions and generate excitement about careers in one of New Zealand's more profitable primary industries.

T&G is a major partner of the national Young Hort competition, but also runs the company's internal competition for young orchard workers as a pathway to the pipfruit sector contest (whose winner goes on to the national contest for New Zealand's best young horticulturist).

T&G corporate communications manager, Jo Jalfon, said that this year was the first time the public and high school students were invited to observe and learn about New Zealand’s $700 million dollar pipfruit industry, of which T&G is a major player, and the opportunities the company and industry offers.

“Young people are unsure of what to do when they leave school and many don’t realise the amazing opportunities the horticulture sector offers them. The competition and open day helps our young people hone and test their knowledge while showing others the awesome and varied roles available to them," Ms Jalfon said.

The national manager of Fruitfed Supplies, Max Spence, said his observation was that the pervasiveness of technology and the rise of corporate growers were facilitating the entry of more young people into the business.

"I think that competitions like the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 Competition are particularly valuable in helping young people to see how they can develop a career in horticulture beyond just having a job.

"We're beginning to see a lot of bright young people in the corporate businesses of grape, apple and Kiwifruit growers – either employed by the growers or their suppliers – who are working to develop new technology. There's a lot of research going on that will be commercialised, and that alone is a positive upside for our industry."

Mr Spence said that meeting customer demands for greater sustainability and traceability – in which New Zealand is a global leader – required greater emphasis on technology and science.

"We do need more scientists in the industry, and a greater emphasis on science in schools and tertiary education," he said.

AGMARDT general manager, Malcolm Nitschke, agreed that there is a lift in the quality and calibre of young people entering the horticulture industry, saying that the quality of the contestants in this year's Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 Competition reflects that shift.

"In general we're very encouraged by the fact that horticulture is starting to be viewed as a good career choice for many young people. For the sector to continue to grow and thrive, requires capable and passionate people throughout the whole value chain, providing great ideas that lead to fantastic innovations."

Mr Nitschke said the huge focus on technology – in particular apps and sensors to manage and monitor both crops and product – fits the interests of young people.

"Traceability is huge. Customers demand transparency across the whole supply chain and technology is enabling us to pick the right fruit, at the right time, and at the right quality for the right market.

"When it comes to sustainability, technology is helping us monitor and manage what's going on, enabling targeted responses to pests and diseases. Technology in horticulture is about prevention rather than cure, and I think the possibilities inherent in this are leading young people to recognise that their interests and values can align with the scale and depth of opportunities in horticulture," he said.

The five finalists in the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture Education Trust’s ‘Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 Competition’ – to be contested this week on Wednesday and Thursday – come from Pukekohe, Auckland (2), Hawke's Bay and the Manawatu.

The finalists – all winners of their respective horticulture sectors – will compete in the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 Competition’ grand final held over the two days of November 9 and 10, at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in Manurewa.

Finalists (30 years and under) compete for a prize pool of over $40,000 that includes a $7,500 T&G travel and accommodation package and a $5,500 Massey University study scholarship, as well as an AGMARDT Market Innovation Project first prize of $5,000.

The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition is made possible through the generous support of Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 competition partners AGMARDT, T&G and Fruitfed Supplies.

Supporters of the competition are Bayer CropScience, Massey University, Primary ITO, Countdown, NZ Gardener Magazine and Trillian Trust. Plus, affiliated supporters, friends, volunteers and industry specialist who give their time.

For more information about how to enter, visit www.younghort.co.nz for more information

Ends/…

ABOUT

The Education Trust manages the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition on behalf of the sponsors and the horticultural industry.

The purpose of the Trust is to assist and promote, in any way possible, horticultural training and education in New Zealand, including promoting and providing scholarships and prize schemes for young people in horticulture.

The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition aims to offer a national competition that nurtures and develops future leaders in the horticultural industry through the sector competitions, and to promote horticulture as a career opportunity and to lift the profile of the horticulture industry as an exciting and rewarding occupation.

The vision of the competition is to identify and develop the next generation of leaders in the Horticultural industry, and to foster and encourage the development of leadership capabilities in these people to meet the challenges of the future.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Maritime NZ: NZ Joins Global Initiative Keeping Ports Open And Freight Moving

New Zealand has joined an international port authorities’ global initiative for safe and efficient movement of goods and shipping during the COVID-19 crisis. World-wide, 56 port authorities have agreed how they will work together facilitating maritime ... More>>

ALSO:

National: National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart

National will provide a $10,000 cash payment to businesses that hire additional staff as part of our commitment to keeping New Zealanders in jobs, National Party Leader Todd Muller and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith have announced. Our JobStart ... More>>

ALSO:

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:



Auckland Airport: Thousands Of Kiwis Travelling For Queen’s Birthday Weekend


Confidence in domestic travel is beginning to steadily ramp up, with thousands of Kiwis travelling within New Zealand for Queen’s Birthday.
Nearly 400 flights will be operating to and from Auckland Airport over the long weekend... More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A


Recent attacks on cell phone towers have brought concerns over the rollout of 5G technology into sharp relief.
While scientific research has consistently shown that the technology does not adversely affect human health, public concerns about its impact have spread around the world, fueled in part by growing misinformation online. The SMC asked experts to comment... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO: