Ahuwhenua field days farms achieve a level of rural development that has the world watching

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Media contact: Krissy Moreau

Finalists of 2014 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award are achieving a level of rural development that is gaining increasing international interest, as the second of three field days kicks off today.

“The finalists this year are all exemplar models for growing rural economic development,” says Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI’s) Deputy Director-General Ben Dalton speaking from Te Rua o Te Moko Ltd’s field day near Hawera.

“There is increasing international interest in Māori agribusiness as a model for rural development, particularly from countries with rural land holdings capable of agriculture.

“This year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy entrants represent some of the best Māori dairy farmers from across the country.  They provide an example for the increasing number of Māori landowners who are striving to achieve economic and sustainable farming operations as kaitiaki of their land.

“MPI continues to be a proud sponsor of the Ahuwheuna Trophy competition, which fosters and promotes excellence in Māori farming. This kaupapa aligns with MPI’s Māori Agribusiness programme, which is dedicated to partnering with Māori to grow and protect their primary sector assets.

“What the three finalists all have in common this year is the ability to pull together a vast number of stakeholders into a larger and more commercially effective operation. All three have governance frameworks which enable successful farming operations.

“It also demonstrates how far Māori agribusiness has come, and what Māori farmers are determined to achieve in the future,” says Mr Dalton.

The final field day will be at Ngāti Awa Farms Ltd, Ngakauroa Farm next Wednesday March 19.

The winner of the 2014 Ahuwhenua Trophy will be announced on June 13 in Tauranga.

For more information visit: www.ahuwhenuatrophy.Māori.nz

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