SFF Futures projects: horticulture

The projects are listed according to their start dates. The latest project is at the top.

What’s coming out of tile drains?

Project start: 31 May 2021
Project length: 3 years 10 months
MPI funding: $1,338,334
Industry funding: $436,820
Industry partner: AgFirst Consultants Ltd, New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Zespri International Ltd, Vegetable Research and Innovation Fund, Horticulture New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers Association, Hawke’s Bay Vegetable Growers Association, Heinz Wattie’s Ltd, Bayley’s Produce
Region: Nationwide

The horticulture sector wants to understand and mitigate their impact on waterways. Tile drainage systems are common under high value horticultural properties. This project seeks to increase understanding of what impact tile drains are having on water quality, positive or negative, and how horticultural land management may be able to improve this.


Cedenco – Trade waste disinfection

Project start: 12 May 2021
Project length: 1 year
MPI funding: $53,839.20
Industry funding: $103,647.80
Industry partner: Cedenco Foods New Zealand Ltd
Region: Gisborne

This project will research the sustainable treatment of wastewater coming from the Cedenco Foods factory in Gisborne. It will explore innovative UV treatment as a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to biological treatments or traditional chlorination that produces hazardous by-products. It will also explore opportunities for re-using water within the factory or for irrigation throughout the region.


Sustainable produce farming

Project start: 30 April 2021
Project length: 2.5 Years
MPI funding:  $869,716
Industry funding: $1,286,500
Industry partner: Southern Fresh Foods
Region: Waikato

This pilot project will trial various growing methods for leafy salad vegetables and herbs using an advanced greenhouse cropping system, with the aim of providing year-round production. The system has the potential to become New Zealand’s leading standard in sustainability, food safety and economic viability, while creating measurable solutions for New Zealand’s increasing environmental challenges.


Miro – Transforming Māori land to high-value horticulture

Project start: 1 April 2021
Project length: 5 Years
MPI funding:  $1,600,000
Industry funding: $2,400,000
Industry partner: Miro
Region: Bay of Plenty

This project aims to help Māori landowners and growers establish and operate protected berry cropping systems, transitioning 310 hectares of under-utilised Māori-owned land into high-value horticulture.


Proof of concept for a Novel biostimulant / biofertiliser formulation

Project start: 21 January 2021
Project length: 3 Years
MPI funding:  $792,000
Industry funding: $1,188,000
Industry partner: Biocell Corporation Limited
Region: Nationwide

This project will develop a proof of concept of a novel biofertiliser formulation in field trials across a wide range of farming and horticultural activities. It aims to substantially reduce or eliminate the need for chemical nitrogen fertilisers.


Envisi field trials

Project start: 25 September 2020
Project length: 1 Year
MPI funding:  $16,000
Industry funding: $46,000
Industry partner: Envisi Limited
Region: Auckland/Bay of Plenty

This project will develop, manufacture and trial new agri-technology that will deter birds from budding kiwifruit using a novel patented polarised light system. If successful, the lights will be rolled out to all Zespri growers. Findings will also be distributed to industry with potential for technology to expand to other high-value horticulture crops such as hemp, grapes, cherries and blueberries.


Biodegradable plastic plant trays/pots incorporating NZ ingredients

Project start: 21 March 2021
Project length: 1 year
MPI funding: $35,000
Industry funding: $53,000
Industry partner: Pinehurst Associates Ltd
Region: Auckland

This project will develop and manufacture a proof of concept for biodegradable plastic plant trays and pots that will last 12 months above ground before biodegrading. This would replace the high impact polystyrene trays and pots used in nurseries and garden centres.


Ensuring PremA17/Smitten® reaches its full potential

Project start: 18 January 2021
Project length: 3 years
MPI funding: $29,298
Industry funding: $48,150
Industry partner: Seventeen Limited
Region: Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, nationwide

This project will develop pre- and post-handling protocols to reduce the incidence of internal browning in PremA17 ("Smitten®") apples when exposed to warmer climates such as found in Asia.


Organic Sector Strategy

Project start: January 2021
Project length: 1 year
MPI funding: $212,500
Industry funding: $163,000
Industry partner: Organics Aotearoa New Zealand
Region: Nationwide

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand will work with organic sector stakeholders and others interested in converting to organic to develop a three-year organic sector growth strategy. This will enable the industry to understand and plan for constraints and opportunities around organic consumption, production and processing growth. It will also identify ways to leverage New Zealand’s organic standard locally and internationally.


Feasibility study of the economic validity of nutrient extraction from non-commercial grade potatoes and kumara

Project start: 23 December 2020
Project length: 6 months
MPI funding: $79,600
Industry funding: $352,038
Industry partner: Powered by Plants Ltd
Region: Nationwide

This project aims to establish an economic way of using 'out-of-grade' potatoes and kumara, by developing higher value ingredients such as protein and starch. It will provide a business case that proposes new ways to use these ingredients.  


Growers Leading Change

Project start: 6 October 2020
Project length: 3 years
MPI funding: $1,169,000
Industry funding: $1,315,000
Industry partner: Foundation for Arable Research
Region: Nationwide

Growers Leading Change will develop an extension framework for the arable industry. This will include setting up a network of facilitated farm discussion groups, trial and demonstration farms, and a mobile learning centre. It will enable arable growers to work with and learn from each other.


Feasibility of growing hi-oleic peanuts in Northland

Project start: 21 September 2020
Project length: 1 year
MPI funding: $59,535
Industry funding: $31,785
Industry partner: Picot Productions Ltd, Plant & Food Research
Region: Northland

Pic’s Peanut Butter is working with Plant and Food Research to determine the feasibility of growing peanuts commercially in Northland. Peanuts will be planted at trial sites with different soil types to find the cultivars best suited to Northland’s growing conditions. If successful, Pic’s will undertake to quantify the costs and returns and benefits of peanuts as an alternative crop.


Daffodil Galanthamine project

Project start: 15 August 2020
Project length: 2 years
MPI funding: $87,000
Industry funding: $87,000
Industry partners: Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Lincoln University
Region: Canterbury

This project is trialling growing a variety of daffodil that produces the active pharmaceutical ingredient galanthamine. Galanthamine has been approved in several countries for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's. Lincoln University will extract galanthamine from the harvested daffodils and report on the results.


A Lighter Touch

Project start: 1 April 2020
Project length: 7 years
MPI funding: $10,829,339
Industry funding: $16,243,877
Industry partner: Horticulture New Zealand, with affiliated programme participants
Region: Nationwide

‘A Lighter Touch’ brings the horticulture, wine, and arable sectors together to find ways to meet consumer demands for food produced through more sustainable pest management practices. It seeks to shift the focus away from traditional crop protection, and integrate biological and ecological processes into food production in New Zealand.


Taking stock: Resolving NZ’s cultivated plants problem  

Project start: 1 February 2020
Project length: 3 years  
MPI funding: $420,000  
Industry funding: $471,500  
Industry partner: Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture Inc, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research  
Region: Nationwide

This project is supporting the development of two plant databases that aim to improve approaches to importing and regulating plants; as well as plant breeding, production, biosecurity and plant pest management.  


Meeting the demand for NZ extra virgin olive oil

Project start: 21 September 2019
Project length: 3 years
MPI funding: $43,520
Industry funding: $65,280
Industry partner: Olives New Zealand
Region: Nationwide

Building on a previous MPI-funded project, this project aims to further increase the production of established olive groves in New Zealand. It aims to increase yield per tree to an extra 5kg (20%), and to move growers to more organic sprays.


Food safety to meet challenging markets

Project start: 27 August 2019
Project length: 3 years
MPI funding: $596,854
Industry funding: $419,090
Industry partner: New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc
Region: Nationwide

This project is investigating new procedures and will develop best practice guidelines to manage the risk of food borne pathogens on apples and pears. It aims to ensure New Zealand apple and pear production and fruit handling systems continue to meet the requirements of export markets.


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