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Fielday Seminars: The essence of farming

11 June 2015

Federated Farmers Fielday Seminars: “The essence of farming: water, land, capability”

Agribusiness expert, Jaqueline Rowarth, has told a Federated Farmers seminar at the Mystery Creek Fieldays this afternoon that investment is necessary for ensuring supplies of sufficient farm water, but meanwhile maintaining water quality.

She said this investment is only possible if primary produce meets the huge challenge of attracting good prices.

Professor Rowarth told the 50 odd people at the seminar New Zealand has both water quantity and quality, which farmers are capturing and using responsibly.

“Water is our most precious resource and most of it runs out to sea. Farmers are doing their best to ensure future resilience by adapting farming systems to ensure protection of their precious resources.”

“Farmers are at the centre of the water quality debate, but if we want nutrients out of our water everyone needs to be treated the same, both cities and farms.”

“We need the right investments and resources to keep building a resilient and sustainable primary sector,” she said.

Charles Crothers, Professor of Sociology at AUT, spoke about the changing face of our landscape. “These days we aren’t doing enough to study rural communities and their viability like we used to.”

Mark Jeffries, CEO Primary ITO, summed up the seminar by saying “The success of our primary industry is vital to New Zealand’s economic success, but industry, educators and government must work together to plug the growing skills gap to establish the resilient, sustainable and capable workforce required, if we are to reach the government’s ambitious goal of doubling primary industry exports by 2025.”

Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston says today’s seminar had some very thoughtful points made by the speakers and some great engagement from the audience in the question answer session.

“Our speakers today had a critical message that we need to engage with the public about the positive benefits of agriculture, especially to the urban audience.”

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