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Key concepts

Key concepts are the big ideas and understandings that we hope will remain with our students long after they have left school.

The following are key concepts/big ideas in agricultural and horticultural science.

Primary producers produce for a market

Primary producers use feedback from markets and communities to manage production processes to ensure that their product meets customer requirements.

Primary products are those that 'leave the farm gate' (for example, milk but not cheese, potatoes but not chips, grapes but not wine). Primary production focuses on how these are grown (for example, tomatoes that are field grown rather than hydroponically grown).

Producers systematically manage life processes

Primary producers systematically manage the life processes of plants, animals, and micro-organisms to ensure a marketable product.

Production systems must be sustainable

The impact of primary production systems on the environment must be minimised to ensure that they remain viable, protect the environment, and maintain New Zealand’s reputation.

Sustainable management practices allow the production of primary products and the use of resources to meet present needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable management practices achieve this by preventing, limiting, minimising, or correcting environmental damage to water, air, and soil, as well as considering ecosystems and problems related to waste, noise, and visual pollution.

Landscape design carried out to address the needs of clients must employ sustainable management practices that minimise environmental impact and enhance ecosystems by addressing pollution issues.

Producers must make a profit

Commercial producers produce only those products that will return a profit.

New Zealand has the resources to produce a very wide variety of plant and animal products, but commercial producers carefully weigh a full range of factors before they commit to producing a new product.

Last updated October 6, 2011