Overview of the Dutch horticulture sector

The Dutch horticulture sector effectively serves global markets with high quality products and leading innovative greenhouse technology. As the second largest exporter of agriculture products, our horticulture sector is a global trendsetter and the undisputed international market leader in flowers, plants, bulbs and propagation material. Obtaining this position required building a most efficient supply chain, both in the Netherlands as abroad.

Produce more with less
Dutch horticulture companies are as varied as they are dynamic. Our bulb producers, greenhouse builders, seed refiners and vegetable growers have one thing in common though: a strive to produce more with less, contribute to the health of mankind and the environment and to achieve the highest quality products through the use of innovative techniques. Innovative solutions, developed in close cooperation between Dutch well-established research institutes, companies and an enabling government, increase crop yields and detect and prevent the spread of infestations and diseases.

Biggest seed exporter
Robust starting materials and research into resistant plant varieties and sustainable cultivation methods contribute to higher yields and lower production costs. Dutch seed companies have an international reputation for providing seed material of the highest quality. This explains our country’s position as the biggest exporter of horticultural seed.

Focus of the Sector in India

The abundant presence of resources and favorable growth conditions make India a highly promising actor in the horticulture domain. The high domestic demand for horticulture products is growing rapidly. Fruits and vegetables account for almost 90% of the total horticulture production in the country and India is now the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. Nevertheless, there exist major opportunities for improvement in horticultural practices, shelf-life, post-harvest handling, processing and logistics. Also with regard to food wastage and the overuse of insecticide and pesticide, improvements can be made.

Advanced tissue culture
India is, after China, the second largest producer of flowers. This makes the country a natural partner for the Netherlands, which controls about 90% of the world flower trade. Hence India is important for flower breeding companies, importers and exporters of flowers. Tissue culture in India is well advanced and Dutch companies develop partnerships with Indian companies to extend their portfolio. Dutch technology for better genetic material and cold chain is adapted to local circumstancesto providemaximum benefit to Indian consumers. Dutch companies have tied-up with Indian companies to develop high quality planting material with reduced mortality rates. Some of the tissue culture companies now export quality planting materials to more than 30 countries.

Bilateral agreement
In the Netherlands, the companies who already have the knowhow and technology to address the existing Indian concerns, are exploring opportunities in the Indian market. Dutch vegetable seed companies introduce high-quality vegetable seeds in the Indian market and contribute with technical expertise to the growing of high-quality vegetable crops. Seeing a great potential and also the readily available solution, both governments signed a bilateral agreement to demonstrate technologies for protected cultivation, increase efficiency in supply chains and provide new ways of market access. The next 10 years appear to be a very exciting phase for both the Indian agriculture as well as their collaboration with Dutch companies.

Facts and figures

Services and partnerships

The Dutch enable a complete chain approach, addressing all vital aspects of the horticulture sector.

Working with the Dutch
• Offers you access to high quality products, the best seeds and world leading innovative technology
• Enables you to produce more with less, produce safe horticulture products and implement innovations adapted to local circumstances
• Results in better products, a higher productivity and lower production costs

Contact us
For this, the Netherlands Embassy and Dutch companies work closely with Indian partners to achieve a higher quality, higher quantity and more profitable Indian horticulture sector. If you are interested to participate in developing the Indian horticulture sector or contact relevant partners, we suggest you contact the Netherlands Embassy. For more information, you can also consult our consortium partners, like Hortifruit.

know more about Dutch Hortifruit Partners for India

Horticulture film

Let’s Harvest More Together

Partnerships

Best practices

Enough safe food: with help of insects

Providing enough (safe) food for everyone is the top goal of the United Nations. The Dutch horticultural industry is definitely playing its part in this regard. With innovative solutions to increase crop yields and to detect and prevent the spread of infestation and disease. In the past we used chemical pesticides and resistant plant varieties. Today there is a growing appreciation of how effective organic alternatives can be. Forty-five years ago cucumber grower Jan Koppert, allergic to pesticides and increasingly confronted by resistance problems, started using some small, useful creatures.Predator mite against red spider mite, wasp against whitefly.

The pollination of plants, a major undertaking for humans, is now left to a natural specialist, the bumble bee. Making tomatoes and capsicums look even prettier. Koppert climate-cells mimic the four seasons and bumble bees can be supplied throughout the entire year. There are also profits to be made underground using nutritious plant extracts (biostimulators) and beneficial fungi, not to mention bacteria that actually protect the roots. These are deployed in the full-soil cultivation of soya in Brazil. The family business has branches in 23 countries, including one in India that opened in February 2013.

More with less: better seeds

How can we make the best possible use of the space, water, energy and minerals available to us? So that all 7.7 billion people have proper nutrition? Or to put it another way, how can we produce more with less? The Dutch horticultural industry makes a big contribution in this regard.

With robust starting materials and research into resistant plant varieties and sustainable cultivation methods. We are taking big steps towards a much more organically based economy and finding clever solutions for logistics and transport. For a real tour de force in seed technology go to the Dutch ‘Seed-Valley’. To companies like INCOTEC that improve the quality of seed for growers andcultivators.

Seeds are examined internally and selected one by one for quality using X-rays. Inspecting the prothallium will tell you whether salad seeds can grow in warmer countries. Seeds can be given a tiny supply of nutrients in a thin coating, natural substances that stimulate among other things the root growth of the plant. The average increase in yield (measured in kilograms per hectare) for wheat seed coated in this way is 4.5 percent. Also new is ThermoSeed, blasted clean with hot, damp air to eradicate any sources of disease on the husk.

Fresh corridor: on time and sustainable transport

The Netherlands plays a primary role in the worldwide cultivation, trading and distribution of fresh vegetables and fruit. Everything produced in or imported into the Netherlands is further distributed from the southwest of the country. To keep this process up to speed and make it more sustainable, a whole range of companies and governments work in partnership on ‘Fresh Corridor’.

In coming years the parties behind Fresh Corridor want to encourage multi-modal transportation using so-called AGF containers. Inland shipping as an alternative to road transport is an essential part of this. This is why the parties behind Fresh Corridor are developing transfer points for sea containers in various locations. Fresh products can be transported on from those points. The present fruit terminal in the Port of Rotterdam will be replaced by a modern Cool Port, a network of terminals and connections for carrying fresh products over water.