During 2017/18, Melany Tedja and Polina Klyueva from G2G Know-How assisted Plant & Food Research of New Zealand, AgFirst Engineering, Fruition Horticulture and other New Zealand-based specialists to begin implementation of the Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Development Project. This project is focused on improving fruit production by smallholder orchardists in Northern India.
The project, funded through a World Bank loan, is being delivered by specialists from Plant & Food Research, AgFirst Engineering, Fruition Horticulture and the New Zealand pipfruit industry body, New Zealand Apples and Pears.
In this north-western Himalayan region of India, most of the population is rural and dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. Apples are the main crop and they account for about one third of India’s total apple production.
The three-year project will use New Zealand expertise to help improve orchard productivity and fruit quality. This will generate better returns for growers and create more jobs and better livelihoods for the people of Himachal Pradesh.
Peter Landon-Lane, then CEO Plant & Food Research, says “Our scientists have been working with the apple industry in New Zealand for more than 50 years and our research has contributed to the excellent reputation of New Zealand produce globally. To be able to share this knowledge to support communities in developing regions is very rewarding. It also allows our scientists to extend their understanding of how crops grow in different geographic regions and environments, and supports the relationship between New Zealand and India, and their respective apple industries.”
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New Zealand’s agriculture sector operates without subsidies and relies on highly efficient small farms to drive agricultural output. Efficiency gains now enable New Zealand to feed a global population the equivalent of some 70 million people.