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Biological Farming Conference ready to roll

Biological Farming Conference ready to roll

The second national conference on biological farming systems is ready to roll. The conference will be held on 20-21 February 2014 in Rydges Hotel Rotorua.

The conference will be inaugurated by Her Worship Steve Chadwick, the Mayor of Rotorua. In the past, Hon Chadwick has worked as the Minister of Conservation and also Associate Minister UN International Year of Family Farming is celebrated this year (2014). This conference will be part of this celebration.

We have a good line of speakers from New Zealand universities, crown research institutes, farmers and consultants.

Ms Nicole Masters, spokesperson for Association of Biological Farmers will set the scene by presenting a paper “Benefits, threats and opportunities for biological farming” in the conference opening session.

Dr Tanira Kingi (AgResearch), Dr Oliver Chikumbo (Scion), Dr Malcolm McLeod (Landcare Research), Abie Horrocks (Plant & Food Research) are some of the known scientists from crown research institutes presenting papers in the conference.

More than 120 farmers, Maori land owners, soil and environmental scientists, land management specialists, and representatives from government agencies, regional councils, fertiliser companies, agricultural and horticultural businesses have registered for the Reece Moors, the Executive Director of the new Māori Economic Development Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will chair a session on “Biological Farming – Challenges & Opportunities”. The Māori Economic Development Unit has oversight of MBIE’s engagement with Iwi/Māori and developing strategies for the Ministry to support and respond to an emerging Māori economy.

“We are pleased that such respected people from the Government agencies, universities and research institutes participating in the conference," said Prof Guna Magesan, conference coordinator and science advisor to Te Arawa FOMA.

“Interest in biological farming is definitely growing in New Zealand and we need to take this to different level now,” Prof Magesan added.

The conference programme includes two days of technical sessions of oral and poster presentations and conference dinner.

The conference will provide a forum for discussion of a wide range of topics for current and future biological farming systems research. The following are the eight sessions:

SESSION 1: Biological Farming – Success stories

SESSION 2: Biological Farming – Challenges & Opportunities

SESSION 3: Progressing Biological Farming

SESSION 4: Panel Session: Guidelines/standards for biological farming systems

SESSION 5: Biological Farming & Environment

SESSION 6: Biological Farming – Personal Experiences

SESSION 7: Biological Farming – Value Addition

SESSION 8: Biological Farming – A way forward

Panel session on "Progressing Biological Farming" will be a turning point and will create a history, in the movement of Biological Farming in Aotearoa New Zealand as this session will bring representatives from Maori and Pakeha farmers, industry associations, science communities, and possibly from government/funding agencies together to discuss, debate and deliberate to take the biological farming concept forward.

This national conference provides a platform for the biological farming groups to come together, work together, and grow together.

ends

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