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Massey's agrifood expertise wanted by Beijing

November 14, 2012

Massey's agrifood expertise wanted by Beijing

Massey University’s expertise in food production is being sought by Daxing district in China's capital city, Beijing.

Delegates from the district visited the Manawatū campus today to view and discuss the university’s agricultural technology and research, which could soon be used in an agricultural park being established in Daxing, a suburb in the south of the city with a population of more than 600,000.

The New Zealand Agricultural Park is being established as a joint venture between Daxing district, the Wellington City Council and other as yet unidentified New Zealand agricultural organisations to showcase New Zealand’s agricultural technology and research – and Massey is in talks to become part of the venture.

Massey College of Business Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor and the university's agrifood director, Professor Claire Massey, says a laboratory or research centre could be established in the park. “They want to set up an intensive area where they will grow food, but they are also very interested in intensive farming,” Professor Massey says. “They are interested in looking at the science they can use to produce more food and we have a whole lot of the science that can enable them to do this better.

"It’s the absolute early days of discussions but it’s about using our capabilities in agrifood, their need for that food, in a joint venture between New Zealand and Beijing.”

The park will be built to New Zealand’s quality control standards and become part of Beijing's "Green Economic Ring".

Wellington City Council international relations manager Tom Yuan, who is working on the project, says the district is interested in Massey’s expertise. “They would like to invite [Massey] experts to Beijing, to be part of research projects and work alongside other researchers,” he says. “It would also mean PhD students could come here [to Daxang] too.”

ENDS

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