Māori Land Blocks intensive R&D opportunity announced

Organisers of an agritech and food futures conference focusing on Māori landowners and entrepreneurs in Gisborne this week have announced an opportunity for participating Māori land blocks to win a unique prize for participating.

Māori land blocks represented at the event will have the opportunity to work with specialist advisors at four of New Zealand’s top research and development organisations. The advisors will help the land block owners look at land use options, innovative products and pathways to market for the commodities coming off the block.

“Hikurangi Enterprises has developed strong relationships with most of the universities, Crown Research Institutes and private research organisations” said Ina Te Ora Tairawhiti Food Futures event organiser Manu Caddie. “There are some clever people in these institutions who can work with local land owners to unlock the potential of their whenua with their whanau.”

Hikurangi Enterprises has been working with the Ministry for Primary Industries, Landcare Research and a land use consultant on one Māori land block to identify the particular geophysical and climate characteristics of the block and a range of suitable crops and land use options based on the profile of the block.

“We plan to scale this work to enable other land blocks to utilise the data and that should also enable economies of scale if a number of blocks decide to get into producing similar crops for the same markets.”

Participants at the event will have the opportunity to nominate a Māori land block and two blocks will be invited to participate in an initial assessment followed by intensive engagement with experts at research organisations including Massey University, Victoria University, Callaghan Innovation, Landcare Research and the Cawthron Institute.

Supported by NZ Trade and Enterprise, Plant & Food Research, AgResearch, Callaghan Innovation, Massey University and ECT, Ina Te Ora conference features 40 presenters over three days starting at 9.45am on Wednesday at Muriwai Marae followed by Thursday and Friday morning at the Emerald Hotel.

The full line up of presenters is available here.

Register online here.

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