NZPPI Extension Officer Jacinta Harrop attended the two-day CEA summit in Hamilton on April 3rd and 4th, which included a tour of the Greengrower facility.
Here are her takeaways:
The aim of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is to provide protection from outdoor elements and maintain optimal growing conditions. This includes some plant production in green/glasshouses.
Although the focus of the summit was primarily food production, plant production remains relevant, and many of the showcased systems and technologies have potential in the future of the plant production industry.
Internationally, there are already examples of hybrid plant production systems with vertical farming propagation before plants are grown-on.
Other key takeaways include the opportunity for CEA to help mitigate the challenges of changing climates and extreme weather events and the importance of encouraging collaboration at a range of levels, from local businesses to industries internationally.
Although there is no one silver bullet to solve industry challenges, this is another exciting 'watch this space' area of research and innovation that has the potential to improve production and efficiency in the future.
For more information:
New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated