Growing Our Region

Looking at Land Diversification opportunities

​This year AgriFood Week is spreading its wings to districts outside of the Manawatū. One of the events of interest is Tararua District Council’s Land Diversification Forum on Monday 16 March, in Pahiatua. 
​Attendees will get the opportunity to hear from AgFirst HB Consultants Ltd about their Alternative Land Use report. AgFirst investigated four crops; feijoas, cider apples, hazelnuts and blueberries.  This work is further to the GO!Project of the early 2000’s which looked at the soil and climate in the Tararua District to see what crops could grow there.
AgFirst have reassessed the soil and climate information, looked at nutrient leaching mitigation qualities of the crops and their soil management requirements, water use, labour requirements and markets, and economics.
AgFirst will present their information first, followed by presentations from:

  • Julia Third and Todd Abrahams of Pole to Pole, packer, marketer and distributor of avocadoes, citrus, feijoas and kiwifruit
  • Heather Collins, Facilitator and Rural Social Scientist – social impacts of rural land use change
  • Amos Palfreyman, Business Development Manager at Food HQ – market trends in food and beverage

Land Use Optimisation is one of the nine opportunities identified in the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan thanks to the region’s great soils (18% class 1, despite comprising only 8% of New Zealand’s land area) and our close proximity to expertise at Massey University, in particular Food HQ.
This forum is open to land-owners, investors, educators, scientists, food processors and interested parties. It will be highly informative and interesting, so contact to book your spot today.
Event details
What: Land Diversification Forum
When: 10am – 3pm, Monday 16 March
Where: Masters Hall in Pahiatua