What is PIAS?
Primary Industry Advisory Services is a programme to strengthen the advisory sector. It aims to boost the number of advisers available that are appropriately trained to give farm system-level advice. This will ensure advisers can provide robust advice and support producers with decision-making to improve their environmental and economic performance.
The PIAS programme aims to:
- attract more people into advisory careers
- develop adviser skills and knowledge
- give farmers more confidence that advice is coming from the right experts.
Who are primary industry advisers?
Primary producers get advice from a variety of sources, including:
- independent advisers and consultants (such as agricultural or environmental consultants)
- financial and business services (such as accountants)
- business goods and service providers (such as feed suppliers or vets)
- industry and public good organisations
- processors and exporters.
What is the PIAS programme doing?
The PIAS programme aims to enhance the capability and capacity of the advisory sector.
Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research was commissioned to research how primary producers make use of the advisory sector.
System and workforce research
Scarlatti and Geosocial Technologies were commissioned to produce an overview of the advisory sector and identify how it can be improved:
Advisory career attraction and development
PIAS has developed a new video raising awareness and showcasing careers in the primary industry advisory sector. The video has been launched by Agriculture and Investment Services, in collaboration with the Opportunity Grows Here campaign.
The video tells the story of farm adviser Ash Phillips. It provides insight into the diverse role of a farm adviser while showing how further study in the agricultural sector can lead to greater career opportunities.
Strategy to replace certification scheme for advisers
The National Certification Scheme for farm environment plan advisers set up under this programme in 2020 has been wound down. The scheme was superseded by the Ministry for the Environment's work on requirements for Freshwater Farm Plan certifiers and auditors. While mandatory freshwater farm plans will start to be introduced in 2023, they will be phased in throughout New Zealand over time. This will require numbers of certifiers and auditors to be appointed by regional councils. The Ministry for the Environment is supporting regional councils with the process to identify and train suitable people.
The Ministry for Primary Industries is working with the Ministry for the Environment on advisory workforce planning. MPI is also investigating the potential for a wider workforce development strategy aimed at lifting capability across the wide range of advisory careers in the primary sectors. This work looks at the settings for the structure of the workforce, including oversight and governance, qualifications and skills, and education and training systems.
More information about how MPI is helping to strengthen the rural advisory sector is available on 'Towards a certified Freshwater Farm Plan system'
MPI provides regional seminars and events where advisers can get together and learn about important issues in the primary sector. We'll post upcoming events here.