Massey University has created a new graduate school, with the aim of helping double the country's food exports in the next 10 years.
The university and Crown research institute Plant and Food Research have come together to create The Joint Graduate School of Horticulture and Food Enterprise.
The two are already partners in FoodHQ - a research collective with a plan to turn part of Palmerston North into the biggest food innovation hub in the southern hemisphere.
Massey vice-chancellor Steve Maharey said the new school was about providing greater research opportunities, which would hopefully add value to the food industry.
"Students will benefit from the expertise of the nation's top researchers and their projects will increase their understanding of how science meets industry needs."
The New Zealand horticulture industry generated more than $3.6 billion in export revenue in the past year, but a report published by the Ministry for Primary Industries last month said the industry needed another 15,000 qualified workers in the next 10 years.
Plant and Food Research chief executive Peter Landon-Lane said the joint school was about developing a work force with scientific knowledge. "Access to a talented, scientifically-literate work force is essential to achieving the potential of our horticulture and food industries and doubling New Zealand's food exports by 2025."
About a dozen Massey masters and doctoral students are studying topics that would in future be offered at the school.
- Manawatu Standard
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