A project that aims to develop dairy wellness products as well as build Maori agribusiness capability is to receive government funding through the Primary Growth Partnership.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has approved co-funding of $1.75 million for the three-year Whai Hua PGP programme, which is worth $3.5 million in total.
The Whai Hua programme will develop natural probiotic dairy milk products targeting health-conscious consumers in Asian and New Zealand markets.
The Whai Hua partners are leading agribusiness Wairarapa Moana Incorporation, which runs 10,000ha of dairy and forestry operations in central North Island, and Miraka Ltd, the first Maori-owned dairy processing company, based in Taupo.
It will operate in collaboration with in-market partners which ensures a connection with consumers.
The research partner is AgResearch.
"This programme exemplifies what the PGP is all about – innovation to the fore and increasing profitability – in this case of dairy farming and processing," says Scott Gallacher, MPI Deputy Director-General.
Whai Hua Chairman Kingi Smiler said he was extremely pleased with the announcement and the significant benefits that this programme will bring to both organisations and the country.
The Whai Hua programme expects to generate $8.6 million a year in economic benefits to New Zealand by 2021.
It will also enhance the experience and skill base of Maori agribusinesses investing in higher valued foods and differentiated products for Asian markets.