Future focus on agriculture and food production

Paul Match, president of Otago Field Days, said New Zealand has the opportunity to shine as the world works on agriculture and food waste.

A retired Otago farmer and former president of the World Agricultural Forum, the world produces twice as much food as it consumes, but some overeat and others don’t. ..

He says the main reason is that it includes commercially produced foods that lack nutritional integrity. Also, when people consider food as a commodity, they accept incidental waste and the food continues to be wasted.

As a possible solution, both regenerative agriculture and a healthy food movement are growing. Paul also points to New Zealand’s new focus on Maori’s New Year celebrations, including the Harvest Festival. Maori take a culturally spiritual approach to the land.

“This is a shining opportunity in New Zealand right now,” says Paul.

When it comes to food production, he believes that spiritual value and respect for food and land can be combined with science. These can sit side by side with digital technology development and critical analysis.

“When you make a meal, you make it out of love,” he says, as an everyday example of science that blends with emotions.


Paul’s was encouraged to tackle international food waste in the Otago Field Days speaker series. He considers New Zealand to be a leading region.

Enthusiastic farmers sit in a 30-foot combine harvester in the Midwestern United States, help harvesting Luzern with a sickle with an Arab woman in Morocco, and spend hours on a tractor on a land in the former East Otago. Spent.

From these experiences and academic research, he concludes that food supply is not limited to the environment.

Some can produce food in the most hostile situations, while others go bankrupt on the best lands in the world. “

Paul sees regenerative agriculture as one way forward. He says that in essence, this approach means a greater degree of biodiversity and greater biomass.

According to the Sustainable America website, regenerative farming practices focus not only on high crop yields, but also on the health of the entire ecosystem.

A thriving event

Regenerative agriculture became a hot topic in the first speaker series of the Permston and Wyhemo A & P Association held in Permston, East Otago last year.

The series itself is part of rejuvenation. Paul talks about how the A & P show took place in the Shag Valley in the 1850s, followed by the first Palmerston and Waihemo A & P show in 1882.

Since he became president of the association in 2014 or 2015, the annual show has expanded from one to two days, and now to three days.

Moving with the times: Former president of the Palmerston and Waihemo A & P Association. Photo: Association Facebook

Every year, we hold at least six days of events, such as Otago Field Day and inter-school competitions.

These events are primarily horseback riding and attract people from afar, including Northern Canterbury, Invercargill and Central Otago. The number of entries has increased from 50 or 60 to over 1000.

Field days have also flourished and include health and environmental information.

“Field Days was an event that helped put Palmerston on the map,” says Paul.

A tractor active at the Palmerston and Waihemo A & P Show in January this year.Photo: Supply

Last year, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, they didn’t want to risk a large rally, so they introduced a series of speakers in case they needed to cancel Field Day.

Lecturers at the University of Otago and the University of Otago Institute of Technology, and a few retirees supported the series, and the theater was packed for discussions on regenerative agriculture. The second series will be held later this year.

The impetus continues and the group meets almost weekly in Dunedin to discuss future potential for practical progress on agriculture, the environment, health and social issues.

Paul’s US contact showed “incredible generosity” by sharing related research that would cost more than $ 1 million, even if he could raise money in New Zealand.

“That spirit of generosity, I was impressed with it, and that’s why I’m happy to work with our community. My life is so rich with all these people. “It has become,” he says.

Volunteers support all the association’s events. He says the Covid-19 crisis has made it easier to attract both speakers and volunteers.

“We are grateful for the help they have given us, and hope they also get something from it.”

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Future focus on agriculture and food production

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