By 2050, the global population is predicted to increase to more than nine billion people, and the horticultural produce required to feed them will be almost double that of today. Close to four billion tonnes of fruits, vegetables and pulses will be required, in a world of increasing environmental pressures and decreasing land availability.
Increased productivity is a key target for the horticultural industry globally. Better agronomic practices will allow growers to produce more food from less land with optimal use of increasingly scarce water resources, whilst improved storage and transportation will reduce the amount of produce lost postharvest. The industry also needs to address growing consumer and marketer demands for increased sustainability, using fewer chemical inputs and managing the health of the productive environment.
New Zealand will have an important role to play in this changing landscape, providing high quality food both for its own people and for the growing global population. The New Zealand horticulture industry aims to increase its total production from $6 billion (in 2011) to $10 billion by 2020. The industry is focused on innovation that maintains New Zealand’s position as a premium supplier to the the global marketplace, through increased productivity of its crops, meeting the demands of the consumer in terms of novelty and taste, exceeding increasingly stringent requirements for sustainability and further differentiation of the New Zealand product basket.