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Growth Potential

In submissions to the AgriFood Strategy Board (AFSB), the Horticulture Forum identified growth potential for NI Production Horticulture of some £30 m or 42% between 2012 and 2020.  This can be achieved by improvements to production efficiency and storage, enhanced customer service and promotion of the provenance and quality of local horticultural production.  A summary of the growth driving activities identified by the Forum follows: 

Sector Current (2012) Sector value, £million

Prospective Sector value (2020) , £million *

Means of Growth / Comments
Mushrooms 28.5 42.10 5% per annum growth forecast through existing businesses. Good marketing structures already in place.
Fruit 10 15 Increase in dessert and cider production (total area). Significant potential for import substitution in NI and for export to ROI.
Ornamental crops 16 20 Import substitution, increased exports; indigenous species and specimen plant production.  Linked with minimising biosecurity risks and the importance of an effective All‑Ireland Plant Health Policy.
Cut flowers 1.2 3.5 Increase number of producers and output. Significant potential for import substitution and also for export to GB, ROI and Europe.
Edible crops 15 20 Expansion of production area for existing and new businesses in vegetables and soft fruit by extension of growing/storage season; import substitution and improved efficiency with consequent reductions to carbon footprint.
Total 70.7 100.6 £30 m or 42% increase based on current prices (no inflation allowance).

*Projected market value at current prices. CAP reform proposals could impact negatively on potential growth.

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