Profitability and, subsequently farm viability has been a challenge to produce growers in the eastern United States since the 1980's because of highly volatile market prices. Growers in the East also operate on a relatively small land base with production costs that are generally higher per unit of crop output. This puts them at a competitive disadvantage against larger commodity growers from other states, where production costs are comparatively lower. Encroachment of farmland by development, coupled with the difficulty to maintain profitability, create a challenge for some farming enterprises, leading to the need to produce higher value crops in New Jersey and the East coast. Future success in commercial farming will depend largely on the commercialization and expansion of high value, specialty crops such as ethnic produce, and plants of interest because of their health and nutritional benefit. Targeting specific niche markets can provide favorable competitive advantages, as does the rise in interest of locally grown produce and leaving a greener footprint with lowered transportation costs. This project builds upon ongoing work on new crops and plant products and the development of ethnic greens and herbs, using a market-first approach. This project also builds upon our international models of horticultural commercialization which uses a market-first science-driven approach with fresh and processed vegetables, herbs, spices and medicinal plants which serve as the economic driver for targeted rural African communities in sub-Sahara Africa. Implemented under the Agri-Business in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP) program (www.aesop.rutgers.edu/~newuseag;www.asnapp.org), we use a sustainable development model for the diversification of valuable agricultural commodities and marketing channels was developed. During this project period, we will explore scale-up and replicability and continue to develop new crops and new products. The program focuses on good agricultural practices, introduction of high quality germplasm, the nutritional and health promoting properties of the plant that when coupled to quality assurance and quality control systems for collection or cultivation with partnerships with buyers.
|Effective start/end date||1/8/15 → 12/31/19|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))