Moves by the Government to protect highly productive land must focus on maintaining the productive capacity of that land, says HortNZ.
The programme runs a selection process every year and 12 people from throughout the commercial fruit and vegetable growing industry are accepted. This year HortNZ is providing six more places, taking the total number of place up to 18.
The programme is in its 15th year and has had more than 180 graduates, many of whom have gone on to take significant roles in the horticulture world, either in their own businesses, with their employer's business or in wider aspects of industry leadership.
"The fruit and vegetable industry has bold goals for growth and our businesses have ambitious growth targets which require strong leadership," HortNZ senior business manager Sue Pickering says.
"Our members and affiliates are recognising this and are looking increasingly towards the HortNZ leadership programme to help develop our emerging leaders."
The HortNZ Leadership Programme is run in conjunction with Lincoln University. Applications for this year's programme close on May 31.
For more information, visit http://www.hortnz.co.nz/our-work/people/leadership-programme-information/