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Supercharging the future of Australian horticulture

As part of its biggest industry leadership campaign in history, Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) announced two more initiatives to help future-ready the vegetable, fruit, nut, turf, nursery and cut-flower sectors.

The initiatives – which include a Master Class in Global Horticultural Business and a national industry-focused PhD scholarship scheme – will help growers develop their competitive edge when dealing with domestic and global markets.

Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd said horticulture industries around the world are adopting new innovation to increase production efficiencies and Australia is no exception.

“Australian horticulture sectors are hugely innovative with a strong appetite for delivering a consistent, quality product for consumers while increasing production efficiencies and ultimately boosting farm-gate returns,” he said.

Mr Lloyd said the first-of-its-kind Master Class in Global Horticultural Business is available to growers, and people working in the supply chain, looking to take their business to the next level.

“This program combines the expertise of what is currently ranked the number one university in agriculture and forestry in the world (according to 2016 QS World University Rankings), the Wageningen Academy in the Netherlands with New Zealand’s specialist land-based university, Lincoln and leading Australian horticulture university, the University of Tasmania.”

Best described as a mini-MBA, the program will be undertaken over nine months with learning modules focused on areas such as innovation, global supply chains, marketing and governance. First enrollments will open in late 2016 and begin early 2017. Thirty participants will be selected each year for participation in this unique five-year program.

The second initiative, part of Hort Innovation’s plans to ignite a new horticulture generation, is the national PhD scholarship scheme. This program will encourage PhD research into blue-sky, ground-breaking, cross-sector research that will benefit the Australian horticulture industry for years to come.

Up to six PhD scholarships will be awarded annually each year for five years under this program. The University of Tasmania, who will coordinate the program nationally, will be working closely with Hort Innovation over the coming weeks to establish the program.

Horticulture Innovation Australia is currently delivering 26 leadership and training projects which aim to retain existing employees, build future leaders and business capacity, and promote horticulture careers.

“There is no doubt about it. The future of the Australian horticulture industry is bright,” Hort Innovation CEO John Lloyd said. He encouraged growers to submit ideas for further leadership programs through Hort Innovation, via the concept portal online or contact Sharyn Casey.

For general details on Leadership programs, industry should contact Bianca Cairns.
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