Its research programme covers all areas related to fruit, vegetable, ornamental plant and bee sciences, from basic studies on physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, through biotechnology, creative breeding, protection of genetic resources, agronomy, plant pathology, fruit and vegetable storage and processing, food safety, horticultural engineering, economics and marketing.
Since all of the fruit and many vegetable plants are entomophilous and require bees for pollination, bee science was also included in the Institute’s programme. The Institute also takes part in several governmental research programmes on food safety, integrated and organic fruit and vegetable production, protection of genetic resources and in campaigns aimed at changing nutritional habits of the Polish consumers toward increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Due to active extension and implementation programmes and close cooperation with major stakeholders, the Institute has contributed in a large extent to the development of horticultural production in Poland.
Besides research, the Institute is also involved in commercial activities, especially in food analysis. Several Institute’s laboratories has ISO/IEC 17025 and/or GLP certificates and perform analysis (pesticide residues, heavy metals, nitrites and nitrates and mycotoxins) for food producers and wholesalers. It is estimated that Institute’s laboratories have 50% share of commercial food analysis market in Poland.
Cooperative links have been established with most of the horticultural research centres and clusters in Europe and several joint research project, co-financed by European Commission and other international organisations, were initiated.
At present, the Institute is involved in four projects within 7th Framework Programme and in several others within Central European, LIFE and COST programmes and in bilateral projects financed by respective governments within agreements on cooperation in science and technology.
Besides, the Institute is an active member of the European Fruit Research Institutes Network (EUFRIN).
In Poland, the Institute is a coordinator of Centre of Advanced Technologies “AgroTech”, which is a cluster of three universities, two R&D Institutes and four commercial enterprises aiming at developing and implementing innovative technologies in Polish agri-food industry and of a network „Agroengineering for sustainable development of agri-food industry and rural areas”
Dr. Krzysztof Rutkowski explained how institute continuously working on innovative post harvest technologies ( Storage and processing of fruit & vegetable ) by developing an ecological orchard and experimental biological field which involves multitaskresearch . selection of varities , rootstocks , prevention and protection against disease and pests and agricultural engineering and others .
iHort developed an online portal ( http://www.nawadnianie.inhort.pl/) under ministerial supervision for supporting irrigation .