UPDATE: 29th International Horticultural Congress

Plans are well advanced for early registration to participate in one of the biggest events on the horticultural science calendar internationally.  The horticultural industry and association colleagues, and those involved with the production, processing and distribution of the many crops and services that make up horticulture and horticultural science, are invited to Brisbane for the 29th International Horticultural Congress, to be held from 17-22 August 2014.

The Congress is being jointly hosted by the Australian Society of Horticultural Science, the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science. The Co Chairs for this event are Professor Rod Drew (Australia),  Professor Ian Warrington (New Zealand) and Ms Luseane Taufa (Pacific Islands).

The theme of the 2014 Congress is Horticulture  – sustaining lives, livelihoods and landscapes, which has been chosen to highlight the unique potential of horticulture to address the key issues of our modern global society – health enhancement, poverty alleviation, increased food production and environmental sustainability.

“Horticulture and horticultural science matters to us all, whether we are involved in research, extension, education, or servicing of horticulture in a production, amenity, or servicing capacity,” say Congress Co Chairs.

The scientific program outlines an extensive range of horticultural crops and environmental horticulture products and services where attendees can learn from, and contribute to, the world of horticulture. Make contact with your special area of interest by pressing on any of the 40 home page websites.

You may think that this Congress is not relevant to you because you are not scientists. This is absolutely not true! There will be talks presenting applied results and new technology that you should be considering for your business. Don’t just look at the symposia related to your crop, but also check out some of the other symposia  – for example, ‘Mechanisation, Precision Horticulture and Robotics’, ‘Molecular Biology in Horticulture’ (including GMOs), ’Physiology of Perennial Fruit Crops and Production Systems in a Changing Global Environment’ (including canopy management), ’Human Health Effects of Fruit and Vegetable Symposium’ (including phyto-farming and nutrition enhanced/biofortified fruits, vegetables and nuts), ‘Biosecurity, Quarantine, Pest and Market Access’, ‘Eco-efficiency in the lifecycle of horticultural production’ (this will include protecting and sustaining the natural capital stocks of the landscape including soil, carbon, water and biodiversity and hence is likely to address the issue of soil health), and ‘Non-destructive Assessment of Fruit Attributes’, plant nutrition and irrigation. You can also propose an evening workshop, with relevant specialists, that focuses on the main issues limiting the profitability of your industry.  Growers who have attended previous Congresses have been amazed at the value they have gained. And this time it is right on your doorstep.

Australian horticultural industries that are already committed to participating in IHC2014 are banana, pineapple, papaw, turf, arboriculture, and the Australian Nuts Industry Council.

In addition to the benefits of attending IHC2014 as a delegate, industry can gain benefits from close and informal interaction with international experts at grower field days, seminars and meetings where they can focus on industry issues. There are still opportunities to suggest outstanding keynote speakers who would make a valuable contribution to our industry through their specialist expertise. Horticulture Australia Limited will contribute towards these sorts of costs through a collective vc project. For further information contact: Dr Russ Stephenson (russ.stephenson@daff.qld.gov.au) before 31 October 2013 for details of how easy it is for to become involved.

The Congress also provides an opportunity for community engagement and promotion of your product at a two-day ‘Taste of the Tropics’ exhibition at which horticultural products will be featured, and a ‘Farmers Breakfast’ with keynote speakers. The Congress will also feature ‘A Compendium of Horticultural Images – Fusion of Art, Science and Commerce’, and you are invited to have existing images of your product displayed in the Exhibition Hall, promoting it to both the community and to congress delegates.   Ω

2 October 2013