The Horticulture Program aims to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of fruit and vegetable production in developing countries and Australia. The program works across a large range of commodities including banana, mango, pineapple, citrus, sweetpotato, coconut, cocoa, coffee and a number indigenous and traditional vegetables.
Its emphasis is on improving production practice to improve yield and minimise pre- and post-harvest loss. This is achieved through projects that increase productivity on-farm through integrated crop management, disease and pest control, and post-harvest storage and management; and beyond the farm through a focus on biosecurity, export development and market development of new products.
The Horticulture Program takes a complete supply-chain approach to crop production that considers consumer needs for safe, high-quality food, and works with the whole chain to deliver sustainable competitive advantage to the smallholders that comprise most farmers in the countries in which we work.
The challenges for horticulture research are to improve livelihoods in rural areas and to deliver the safe nutritious food necessary for health in both rural and urban regions. Higher systems such as protected cropping and production systems that are resilient to climate effects and can withstand pest and disease pressure are complemented by projects that effectively reduce loss along the chain.
Research Program Manager: Irene Kernot