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Colombian Farmers Get First-Hand Look at NZ Agri Expertise

Joint media release: The New Zealand Agribusiness Centre, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Colombian Farmers Get First-Hand Look at NZ Agri Expertise

7 October 2013: The New Zealand Agribusiness Centre, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the Ministry for Primary Industries, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade this week welcome the largest Colombian delegation to ever visit New Zealand.

Some 170 Colombian farmers are spending a week in New Zealand to get first-hand insights into New Zealand’s pastoral farming systems and agritechnology. The visit includes an exhibition and seminar with major players in New Zealand’s agriculture sector at Mystery Creek Event Centre (home of Fieldays); fieldtrips to dairy, beef and sheep farms; and a visit to Landcorp’s pastoral farm development blocks near Taupo.

Led by Fedegan, the Colombian Federation of Ranchers, the delegation to New Zealand follows Prime Minister John Key’s official visit to Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Brazil earlier this year as part of the Government’s increased focus on strengthening bilateral relations and capitalising on trade opportunities with Latin America nations.

It also follows on from New Zealand’s recent participation in AgroExpo, Colombia’s largest agriculture tradeshow.

“Colombia is an emerging market for New Zealand agribusiness, and we are delighted to host Dr Carlos Severini, the Chairman of the Fedegan board, and this full delegation of Colombian farmers,” says Fieldays General Manager Commercial, Nick Dromgol.

NZTE’s Global Agribusiness Programme Leader Haylon Smith says that Colombia has a fragmented but rapidly developing farming industry; a lot of their farms are remote without access to good transport, and there is a lack of what most New Zealand farmers have come to consider as basic farming management systems and practices.

“This presents a significant opportunity for New Zealand agribusinesses who are leaders in pastoral farming and agritechnology, and have a reputation for producing internationally-significant research, agriculture practices and products,” Mr Smith says. “Many Colombian farms are run in a more traditional way compared to New Zealand, and farmers are generally very keen to learn more about how our pastoral farming works. This visit is about sharing our knowledge and expertise, and exposing farmers to New Zealand’s primary sector innovation and technology.”

Scott Gallacher, Acting Director-General, Ministry for Primary Industries, adds: “New Zealand is widely known for its innovative agricultural technology. By collaborating and coordinating with others around the world we can improve our farming practices and enhance productivity.”

A key part of the week-long visit is a seminar at the NZ Agribusiness Centre in Hamilton today. Speakers include Minister for Primary Industries Hon. Nathan Guy; chairman of DairyNZ and former Minister of Agriculture Hon John Luxton; and John Caradus, CEO of Grasslanz. The seminar will provide the opportunity for NZ agriculture companies to exhibit their products and services while networking with the visitors from Fedegan.

Exhibitors at the event include AgriSea, Agriseeds, CRV Ambreed NZ, Dairy Automation, Gallagher, ISL Animal Health NZ, KlipTank, Livestock Improvement Corporation, New Zealand Pump Company, Pacific Basin Export, PPP Industries, Shoof International, Taragate, TruTest, Wintec, and Zeetags.

Colombia and New Zealand

Colombia is a rapidly emerging market. Along with Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa it makes up 'CIVETS' - the group of countries considered as the next big emerging markets. Colombia is a rising star in Latin America, its security situation continues to improve and the country has a free market economy.

New Zealand’s trade with Colombia has significant potential to grow. Colombia has enjoyed a decade of strong economic performance and is consistently ranked as one of the best investment destinations in Latin America.

There is growing interest in Colombia for New Zealand’s capability in agribusiness, particularly in dairy production. That interest covers all stages of the supply chain from genetics, equipment and machinery through to cattle management systems and education and training. Technology transfer and collaborative partnerships are favoured over direct imports.

Other related areas offering potential for New Zealand are dairy processing, horticulture and wine. There is interest in New Zealand technology, including precision engineering, communications equipment and systems and telecommunications. The ICT sector is growing rapidly, driven by demand from Colombia’s young population and the availability of government subsidies.

ENDS


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