Research that Benefits the FarmerThursday, May 3, 2001
A news item from Central Otago may give a clue to disjointed state of agricultural research in New Zealand.
It seems that the farmer managed and funded structures for industry good have been progressively hi
jacked by the down stream players to fund work that rightly should have been funded or recovered from
the market, not the producer.
The Otago Central Trust has identified a gap in that community’s knowledge and has set up a practical
trial of new crops for the region. Not a major investment by the standards of CRI or University
funded research. But a project never the less, that has a potential to significantly benefit
farmers of that region. But also a project funded by local resources.
It will be a mistake if out of all the restructuring that is taking place in the agricultural industries
recently the leadership neglects the continuing need for on farm research.
If on farm research structures are required and are funded by levies who will direct and manage their
operation? But more importantly what is the research that should be done? How will it be defined
Do you as a farmer have research questions that if answered would improve the efficiency of your farming
operation? Is anyone addressing that problem now? Does anyone know or care about your needs?
An Australian woolgrower has defined the research issues for Australian farmers. This could apply equally
as well to ag research in NZ.
“I think it's imperative for this structure to have an annunciated focus,"
. "AWIL will have to have an up-front process of how projects are approved, continued or cancelled on
a dollar basis."
“The transparency of process extends to the relationship between commissioned research, and research
by submission, and who will be the specific beneficiary of any research"
"Does helping improve wool processing methods help the grower as much as pure on farm research and development?"