MPI’s director-general, Ray Smith, wants his staff to engage more with the rural sector.
The pilot was part of a joint announcement by Prime Minister John Key and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“The FarmIQ management system has been developed through the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), and is cutting edge technology that can be applied to a range of farming activities,” says Guy.
“It works by capturing and analysing data throughout the value chain so farmers can better link on-farm practices to farm outputs and revenue.
“The Sri Lankan FarmIQ pilot will specifically measure the impact of dairy farm inputs and practices against milk output, quality and profitability, and will help support overall dairy sector development in Sri Lanka.”
The joint initiative between New Zealand and Sri Lanka is another activity under the Dairy Cooperation Arrangement signed between the two countries and has been extended to 2018/19.
“I visited Sri Lanka in 2014, and got a good understanding of some of the challenges their small-scale dairy farmers face,” says Guy.
“While we export milk powders to Sri Lanka, Fonterra also has in-country facilities that process local Sri Lankan milk, benefitting farmers from both countries.
“New Zealand has a lot of valuable expertise to share with the Sri Lankan dairy industry, and officials from both countries believe FarmIQ will make a real difference to the performance of local farmers.
“The pilot could also lead to further opportunities for the FarmIQ system – such as those occurring with other PGP programmes like Steepland Harvesting which is exporting forest harvesting machines to British Colombia.
“The two-way trade relationship between our countries is now progressing very well, especially with the commitment the Sri Lankan Government had made with respect to dairy tariffs,” says Guy.