Pershore College to highlight the business opportunities in horticulture

An event looking at the business opportunities in agriculture and horticulture will take place at the end of the month at Pershore College.

 

The second part of a Festival of Horticulture takes place on Thursday 30 September and will examine a range of hot topics including UK horticulture production in a post-Brexit world and the latest digital innovations that are currently transforming farming, food production and growing.

 

A total of 10 speakers will talk about a range of subjects including the latest in indoor growing systems, drones and surveying technologies and the potential opportunities in horticulture for UK businesses now that we have left the European Union.

 

Nigel Pugh from Wythall-based Impact Aerial will expound the benefits of using drone and satellite data to monitor plant health, chartered surveyor and commercial horticulturist,Tony Rowland from Rowland’s of Evesham, will examine the new opportunities in horticulture for UK businesses, whilst Steve Bradstock from Live Farmer will talk about specialist software that enables farmers to management their farms more efficiently.

Tony Rowland significantly expanded his wholesale plant growing operation during lockdown as he spotted a commercial opportunity due to anticipated issues in the supply chain regarding the importation of plants from The Netherlands.

Rowland said: “Horticulture is on the precipice of major change. Polarising within the industry is taking place where family and super-nurseries remain economically viable but middle-sized operations are starting to disappear. It’s important that the industry finds new opportunities to retain viability for a sustainable future.”

The event, organised by the college’s GrowAgri project, is open to all interested parties and attendees will also get to see the latest indoor growing technology from the USA. The Harvest Wall, designed by Rick Langille of Harvest Today is a unique indoor growing wall that allows both individuals and organisations to grow their own fresh salad crops. Rick is flying in from the US to present his invention especially for the event along with his British business partner Mark Chatfield.

Event organiser, Dr Anjana Patel, Agri-Tech research assistant, at Pershore College, said: “Climate change, political disruption such as Brexit and Covid-19 has exposed many vulnerabilities in our food system as well as creating many opportunities for growth and innovation.

“The horticulture and agriculture sector is about to undergo a huge transformation as we move from the European Union’s subsidies, to a new approach where farmers are rewarded for public good and looking after the environment.

“With Defra launching its industry-led R&D partnership’s fund in October which encourages farmers, growers, businesses and researchers to work collaboratively to increase productivity and environmental sustainability, it’s never been a better time to get involved in this exciting field.”

For more information about the Festival of Horticultural Technology go to www.wcg.ac.uk/horticultural-festival or to book a place email growagri@wcg.ac.uk

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