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Minister announces a new honours degree in horticulture for Northern Ireland

Horticulture students can now, for the first time, study for an honours degree in Northern Ireland, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots has announced. The degree, which is the highest level of horticulture qualification available here, will be delivered at CAFRE’s Greenmount campus and is validated by Ulster University (UU).

“Horticulture offers very rewarding and varied careers that impact so much of our modern world, so I am delighted that for the first time we can offer this course to students who are interested in developing a career in this growing profession,” said Minister Poots. “This long-awaited development presents an exciting opportunity for all those interested in management and senior technical level careers in the Northern Ireland horticulture industry.

Dr Konstantinos Xyntaris, Senior Horticultural Technologist at Greenmount assessing how high value winter strawberries might be produced with supplementary lighting in NI.

“Degree level education is especially relevant today considering the growing importance and complexity of environmental issues and the need for increased productivity, resilience, and supply chain connectivity in the agri-food industry,” Minister Poots added. Up until now, the highest level of horticulture qualification available here has been the Foundation Degree.

From September 2021 students who have completed the Foundation Degree at CAFRE will be able to progress through bridging studies, to a one year full time course to then achieve an Honours Degree in Horticulture. The programme will also be available part-time over two years.

CAFRE Director, Martin McKendry said: “The opportunity for students to progress to an Honours Degree programme is timely for the Northern Ireland horticulture industry as it facing an exciting time ahead. The opportunity to grow more locally is being recognised within Government Policy and we are pleased to play our role in encouraging and supporting the horticultural sector.”

Professor Carol Curran, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences at Ulster University also welcomed the launch of the new degree programme which will complement CAFRE’s existing portfolio of Foundation and Honours degrees, all validated by Ulster University.

She said: “The CAFRE/Ulster University Strategic Partnership which started back in the early 90s, continues to grow from strength to strength. This new BSc (Hons) in Horticulture follows the recent BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Agriculture, the first Bachelor’s degree in agriculture offered by CAFRE in 108 years, and validated by the University. We are pleased to play our part together, to educate the leaders of tomorrow across the agriculture, horticulture, food and equine disciplines so that the region might respond successfully and sustainably, to sectoral growth.”

For more information:
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs of Northern Ireland

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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