A Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme aiming to add over a billion dollars to New Zealand's red-meat sector has formally wound up, with expectations it will meet or even surpass its long-term goals.
The FarmIQ PGP was one of the first PGP programmes launched in 2010, with the aim of improving the efficiency of the value chain in the red meat sector.
The $150 million programme included funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries, Silver Fern Farms and Landcorp, based on five key work areas — farm performance, processing feedback and measurement, genetics, product development and FarmIQ software for on-farm use in decision-making.
At a ministerial event in Wellington to mark the end of the PGP's FarmIQ's tenure, programme chief executive Collier Isaacs said hitting this milestone was a good time for the programme to take stock of its achievements over the past seven years.
"We now have new premium meat ranges on offer from Silver Fern Farms and, importantly, there is a platform there for continuing to develop new products that will consistently meet consumers' quality expectations and earn premium returns for farmers and the industry," he said.
"Meantime, sheep genetics suppliers now have access to cost effective measures of an animal's potential to produce high quality meat, and understand their productivity potential much earlier in their life."
International partnerships FarmIQ has undertaken, like the project to lift capability in Sri Lanka, were showing how New Zealand could export great value add through agri-tech solutions as well as high value food and fibre.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor said if New Zealand was to continue to flourish on the world stage then it needed a plan enabling farmers to prove to the world that our produce was clean, green and tasty.
"I hope FarmIQ will contribute to that one plan proposal," he said.
Wellington-based FarmIQ employs 35 staff and is owned by Farmlands, Landcorp, Silver Fern Farms and Veterinary Enterprises
Servicing more than 2000 farms across New Zealand and with more than 70 million animal events already recorded, it claims to be New Zealand's leading farm management software.¦