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Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia want to work together on fruit productionRhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia want to work closely together in fruit production. This was agreed by the State Secretaries of the Ministries of Agriculture of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, Andy Becht and Dr. Heinrich Bottermann at a top meeting in the competence center for horticulture in Klein-Altendorf (KoGa) last Friday.
A planning group consisting of representatives of the ministries as well as the trade associations will work out a concept for a new orientation of KoGa. In the opinion of Secretary of State Bottermann, climate change will dramatically change the necessary conditions for orchards. “It's no longer just about finding solutions to individual diseases like apple scab; instead we need to help businesses introduce completely new production and distribution systems,” said Bottermann.
An equally important driver of change will be digitization, State Secretary Becht claimed. “Sensor technology coupled with precision control will pose new challenges for businesses, while helping them to save on herbicides,” Becht said.
The reason for the meeting of the two state politicians was the decision of the Landtag Rhineland-Palatinate, initiated by the State Audit Office of Rhineland-Palatinate in 2013, not to extend the leases for the Klein-Altendorf location from October 2024 onwards. Becht and Bottermann used the exchange of ideas to agree on key points for cooperation between the two orchards and the future of KoGa.
In the opinion of the two State Secretaries, the timing for the reorientation of the KoGa is optimal. In Nordrhein-Wesfalen, for example, the revision of the contracts between the chamber of agriculture responsible for the consultancy and the state are also on the agenda for 2018, as is the new concept of KoGa planned by Rhineland-Palatinate. Bottermann and Becht agreed to jointly shape the new beginning from the start. In addition to the trade associations and the partners of the KoGa, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia will send ministry representatives to the established planning group. In addition to this, the two state secretaries will be kept informed about the plans and personally participate in important decisions.
"We will use the opportunity to reorganize fruit-growing consultancy across borders and in a forward-looking manner," said Becht and Bottermann.
Publication date: 1/11/2018
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