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Strategic studies

Strategic studies are mainly commissioned by national governmental bodies, national organization of producers or (industrial) development organizations. Recommendations as a result of such projects are mainly related to improvement of productivity, implementation of sustainable production methods, improvement of functioning of the market and improvement of export position.

A proposal for a study and recommendations always comes with a detailed table of contents. The commissioning organization always knows exactly what subjects will be part of the study and the report. It’s always clear what will be studied and what not.

Horticonsult executes strategic studies and reckons the primary production sector to be the key stakeholder.

Project examples

  • Extended study (2008/2009) and recommendations for the improvement of the Egyptian floriculture industry, including drawing up of an inventory. Download Executive Summary here.
  • Study for improvement of productivity of the Honduran exporters of ornamental products. Download Executive Summary here.

Inventories of horticultural sectors

In many countries there is no or very limited reliable trade and industry information available. Information is essential for governmental of industry related policy makers in order to make the right decisions and improvement programmes. An inventory gives you insight in the right informations such as acreages, production and trade.

Horticonsult organizes and executes inventories, existing of deskresearch, interviews with producers and if required even fysical counts in the field. Before making an inventory it is agreed upon in detail what information is important and how the inventory is organized. Often students from a agricultural faculty play a role in the making of an inventory. They execute the inventory under close daily supervision of Horticonsult.

Project examples

  • Many strategic studies require a basic stock taking by  deskresearch in order to get basic statistical information.
  • As part of a study for the improvement of the Egyptian floriculture industry,  a fysical count in the field was executed. This resulted in a reliable set of statistical figures that were used as a base for further study and recommendations for improvement. Download basic figures here.

Exchange of knowledge

Knowledge is essential for all participants in industrial processes, as well as in horticulture. Without knowledge there is no progress, improvement or modernization. The lack of knowledge of horticultural issues inside governmental bodies, the production sector or trade organization is an important reasons , if not the most important one,  of a straggling competitive power.

There is a lot of knowledge available about all aspects of horticulture, either for food or for ornamental purposes. This knowledge however, is badly divided amongst stakeholders in countries, where only some big companies can afford to buy knowledge and small local producers be deprived of essential knowledge that can bring better preformance.

Horticonsult reveals shortages of knowledge, reorganized the sources and co-operates with stakeholders in programmes in order to bring knowledge there where it is most needed.

Horticonsult uses the following tools:

  • Organization of seminars and congresses
  • Organizing and giving courses by experts on all sorts of subjects
  • Setup of information services on behalf of producers
  • Organization of training of local information officers, so called ‘train-the-trainer’ programmes

These tools all need to be tailor-made  because circumstances and requirements can vary per country.

Project examples

  • For the Flower Council of Holland, Horticonsult organized seminars and field trips in China, Mexico en Turkey in 2004 en 2005. For impression click here
  • For the Flower Council of Holland and the European Union, Horticonsult organized an extended programme for exchange of knowledge in 2006, 2007 en 2008. More information.
  • For the Dutch ministery of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Horticonsult organized a seminar on sustainable horticulture and city planning in Korea. For photo click here.
  • In Egypt Horticonsult worked on the set up of an extension service for small local producers. For photo click here.

Market research and export promotie

To enter a new market with a new or with existing products, market research is a pre-condition. Individual companies often use the the ‘learning by doing’ method, but for opening the European market for a completely new product by new players in the market from Asia, Africa, South- and Latin America, market research is required. Horticonsult executes this type of product-market research for entering the European market. A tailormade approach is essential and can also contain matchmaking of (groups of) producers and importing distributors in the European Union.

Project example

  • For a horticulture  industry promotion organization in Brazil, Horticonsult conducted a market research for Brazilian tropical flowers and plants on the European market. Download Powerpoint PDF  here.

Strategic project development

Horticonsult works on the development of co-operative concepts for so called agro parks, integrated  industrial zones for the mass production of horticultural products. Sustainability, cradle-to-cradle, chain optimizing and co-operation concepts play an important role is these concepts.

Project examples

  • Horticonsult conducted a feasibility studyfor a horticultural industrial estate in Mexico. As a result of this study, co-financed by the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, the Agropark in Queretaro, Mexico was established. In a broader sense the PESP study was the beginning of a strong increase of horticulture production in the backyard of the USA.
  • In 2004 Horticonsult appllied for a subsidy for the so called ‘floating greenhouse’ project. As a direct result of this project a floating greenhouse testing project was started on the premises of flower auction Floraholand in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands. Now a group of Dutch horticulture entrepreneurs is working on the first sustainable production project in a foating greenhouse. Click here for website of  the Floating Greenhouse (Dutch only).
  • In Egypt Horticonsult is involved in the planning and organization of some large scaled horticulture Agro Parks, together with Wageningen University and Research (WUR).

Market place and chain development

The succes of an industry strongly depends on how the market place, pricing system and chain is organized. That sounds very logic, but in many countries the development of the horticulture industry is hampered or disturbed by a not functioning market system and market chain. The absence of a pricing system that is insufficient transparent leads in many cases to a  not functioning market. The absence of a efficient distribution system often result in extreme post harvest losses, in (sub) tropical areas up to 50%.

Horticonsult is involved in projects that improves or optimizes the pricing system, market place and distribution system. Projects that are aimed at Reduction of Post Harvest Losses’ can be a part of this projects.

Project examples

  • For the Egyptian organization of horticultural entrepreneurs Horticonsult analyzed the entire market chain and recommended the establishment of a central market place in Cairo. Parts of this assignments have been executed by the Economic Agricultural Institute of Wageningen University and Research and individual market place experts.
  • In Amman, Jordan, Horticonsult made a quick scan for the improvement of the market place.

Subsidy Applications

Horticonsult is experienced in subsidy applications, both from the Dutch government as well as European Commission. Since 2003 Horticonsult has successfully applied for several millions of euro’s. Excellent contacts with the governmental subsidy services as well as the personal approach play an important role in the good track record of applications composed by Horticonsult.

Horticonsult is also specialized in applications for the Dutch government’s PSI program (Private Sector Investment), aimed at Dutch and local private projects in developing countries. Please contact Horticonsult for more information and/or a quotation.

Project examples

  • European subsidies on behalf of Dutch promotion organizations such as the International Flower Bulb Centre and the Flower Council of Holland;
  • National subsidies from the (now discontinued)) PESP program from the Dutch government;
  • Subsidy for the initial technical research of the so called ‘Floating Greenhouse’.