Venture Taranaki invites you to register your interest in participating in the Branching Out Phase 2 growing trials.

The Branching Out project aims to foster an environment that allows value chain diversification opportunities to be investigated, adopted, and to flourish, in Taranaki. We aim to achieve this by using a selection of ventures to prove that diversification is possible and that landowners can benefit economically, environmentally, and socially.

An important component of the project is the growing trials. Venture Taranaki seeks to work with landowners from around the region to test recommendations and methods relating to growing, harvesting, and processing. We also seek to document the challenges, benefits and opportunities, and lessons learned from these trials as the growers and grower groups in region prepare to commercialise their efforts.

We are looking for landowners interested in growing one or more of the crops listed below:

  • Angelica (gin botanicals)
  • Ashwagandha (medicinal plants)
  • Echinacea (medicinal plants)
  • Hemp for fibre production
  • Hops
  • Liquorice (gin botanicals)
  • Sustainable crop rotation: Grains, legumes, and vegetables

Overall, through this process we aim to:

  1. Set up a minimum of three trial sites for each crop.
  2. Run trials for at least two growing cycles, most commencing Spring 2023.
  3. Follow industry best practice for trial operations, following protocols developed by experts and provided to the growers, with on-the-ground guidance provided by a Field Agronomist who will collate trial results and undertake analysis of performance. In the case of unforeseen or evolving circumstances, the trials will be adjusted to ensure maximum learnings and outcomes.
  4. Test and gauge plant potency and product potential where required.
Existing funding secured for the Branching Out project will cover:
  • Seed/plant propagation or purchase
  • Trial development and data analysis by crop expert to guide activities
  • Soil, water, and phytochemical testing as required
  • Trial operations consumables, e.g., rental of machinery, machinery fuel and power
  • Regular support from Field Agronomist to work closely with landowners to ensure best possible outcomes.
In return, trial participants will be asked to contribute free of charge:
  • Land
  • Labour
  • Regular data input related to the trial into our Growing Trial Tool. The data will be used for analysis of performance, and should the trial be successful, to provide high level agronomic information to other growers
  • Commitment to one growing cycle minimum.

Note, personal details related to the trial, such as exact location of site and other participant IP related to their own operations, will be kept confidential.

As a participant you may benefit from:
  • Derisked knowledge and experience from growing high value crops on your land
  • Potential profit from successful trial yields
  • Option to continue growing commercially beyond trials.

A Memorandum of Understanding will be supplied upon selection.

The Branching Out project is guided by a Steering Group, who will be involved in the final selection of sites. Geographic location will be an important determinant of selection, as a good ‘spread’ of sites across the region will be required.

Please complete the following expression of interest form if you would like to be considered as a participant for a growing trial. Submissions will close 19th April 2023.

For more information, contact [email protected].

Submit your Expression of Interest