“The nursery industry is dynamic but highly diverse. As we’re dealing with many different products and markets, it’s important to note that research isn’t a one-size-fits-all, but a vehicle to find new solutions for the benefit of all of industry.” – Dr Kristen Stirling, RMCG.
Our industry is booming, but how can we build our capacity to facilitate this growth?
That’s the focus of a recent review carried out by RM Consulting Group, aimed at investigating world-leading research, development & extension (RD&E), in order to develop a roadmap for a more effective, sustainable and innovative Australian nursery industry.
Conducted over a six-month period, the review identified five key areas to be addressed, that will lead to improvements in productivity and profitability as well as increase the overall professionalism of the industry.
- Reducing environmental footprint through improved resource use efficiency
- Improving production and process efficiencies (both in the field and within protected cropping systems)
- Reducing production costs through automation and uptake of new technology
- Improving supply chain efficiencies and logistics
- Improved understanding by industry of end user needs/desires.
Promisingly, the review found that given the current direction and level of industry investment, there is great potential and capacity to address these issues – with Australia already recognised as a leading nation in several research fields.
RMCG have since developed the roadmap, which aims to address these areas, including mechanisms to better coordinate the industry, drive engagement and innovate; providing specific timelines and approaches to ensure it is practical and implementable.
In the coming months, we will speak with key industry figures about their insights on the RMCG project, and take a closer look at how production nurseries are implementing global research here in Australia. Stay tuned for more via Your Levy @ Work.
The Global Review and Gap Analysis of Nursery Industry Research and Development Initiatives (NY17006) is funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.