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Hortgro Science Gap Analysis 2024


Research needs identified for the 2024 – 25 funding cycle are aimed at achieving the goals of the 2019 – 2024 Hortgro Science strategic plan.

The strategic plan states that to increase the competitiveness of South African deciduous fruit farming, research and development projects funded by Hortgro need to:

  1. Align with a strong efficiency drive throughout the entire value chain
  2. Address the key risks to the sustainability of the industry
  3. Provide information to access, develop and maintain export and local markets

With this in mind, we aim to focus long-term research and development, and to drive clustering of capacity and infrastructure, within the following areas:

  1. Market access and management of phytosanitary and invasive pests and diseases
  2. Production efficiency (volume of exportable fruit per unit area) through use of rootstocks, technology and data systems
  3. Climate change mitigation and water productivity
  4. Plant material quality and availability
  5. Maintenance of postharvest quality and reducing risk throughout the value chain

We would like to invite researchers to submit concept project proposals to address the needs listed under each research programme, viz. crop production, crop protection, and post-harvest.

Please note that we will also consider proposals aimed at addressing research questions not listed in the gap analysis if innovative and/or with clear positive outcomes for deciduous fruit growers.

All submissions need to be done online.

Please contact the following people if you require further general or programme-specific information:

Crop production programme
Wiehann Steyn:

Crop protection programme
Matthew Addison:

Postharvest programme
Mariana Jooste:

Research administration
Anita van Staden:

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