Knowledge helping Te Arawa farm to its fullest

AgResearch is working with Māori agribusiness entities to get the best possible value from their primary sector resources.

One of the main projects they have collaborated on is a Red Meat Strategy that links sheep and beef farms and the meat producing component of dairy farming to processors and food marketers.

The Te Arawa strategy also links with the Tuhono Whenua Red Meat Coalition that is being led by Federation of Māori Authorities (FoMA), Poutama Trust and the Te Tumu Paeroa (Māori Trustee), and the He Kai Aku Ringa Māori Agribusiness Working Group, led by FoMA. Dr Tanira Kingi , a AgResearch scientist, is a member of the steering group for the Red Meat coalition and a member of the Māori Agribusiness Working Group.

The Te Arawa Collective has developed an interim red meat network value chain model for nine organisations in the Rotorua region which own 23 dairy and drystock farms. In June 2013, AgResearch developed a red meat value chain model for the Te Arawa Collective, as part of a larger Core-Funded project to develop a prototype multiple farm optimisation and value chain framework for the Māori agribusiness sector.

“Generally, the land holdings within the Te Arawa Collective are well managed, but they’re trying to instigate changes to improve their positioning within the red meat sector,” says Dr Kingi.

The red meat value chain analysis illustrates that combinations of both on-farm improvements and own product marketing of select prime lamb and beef products results in a diversion of the livestock meat supply to higher value price segments, and improved economic returns. The analysis has also taken into account the level of margin risks in this approach.

“Given that on-farm improvements in livestock supply can also provide potential productivity and economic investment returns, a balanced consideration of a combination of on-farm enterprise and affordable value chain initiatives would appear to accrue acceptable gains at an acceptable risk,” says Dr Kingi.