Remote sensing cameras and GPS are being used by Massey University researchers to see what, if any, damage sheep cause to waterways in the hill country.
The under-secretary for regional economic development, Fletcher Tabuteau, recently announced the $400,000 grant.
He says the lab will help equip farmers and growers in Manawatū-Whanganui to think afresh, particularly on digital farming.
“It will help to develop and potentially support the commercialisation of new ideas and technologies which will improve land use in the primary sector,” Tabuteau claims.
“For Manawatū-Whanganui in particular, land use optimisation is a central plank in the region’s economic action plan. This project will help to unlock new economic opportunities.”
Supporters of the lab include Palmerston North City Council, Microsoft New Zealand, Massey University and local economic development agencies.
“The lab is a model example of local people, businesses and the community progressing a project that aligns with their economic aspirations,” Tabuteau said.
Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor has welcomed the Provincial Growth Fund’s support of this project, which shows “the Government and primary sector working together and working smarter to extract more value from great kiwi products”.