World flocks to tap Kiwi-tech

JAMIE SMALL
Last updated 13:39 12/06/2014
Noel White
Mark Taylor/Fairfax NZ

SHARING SUCCESS: Ireland’s ambassador to Australia, Noel White, says New Zealand and Ireland can learn from each other’s agricultural experience.

2014 National Fieldays
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Little Angus Leigh-Mackenzie appears well-equipped to help with chainsawing displays at the 2014 National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

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New Zealand's "superpower" agricultural status has seen a record number of international visitors head to the Fieldays, intent on gleaning knowledge.

Fieldays chief executive Jon Calder said visitors from 37 countries were represented at the event, with record delegations from Ireland, and Argentina.

Last year there were 22 international delegations at the Agribusiness event, the largest in the southern hemisphere.

"We are without a doubt an agricultural superpower, in terms of our position as a global leader," said Fieldays chief executive Jon Calder.

"Their prime reason for being here is to learn more about what makes NZ farming so successful."

A record 18 Irish exhibitors were represented, with Calder saying there was plenty of potential for the Emerald Isle to gain from the visit.

"Farming in Ireland is very similar to New Zealand, yet we have a much lower cost per unit in terms of production around our dairy than they do," he said.

Irish government organisation Enterprise Ireland had a stall with nine companies in attendance. Ireland's ambassador to Australia, Noel White, said it was "clearly worth their time", and Ireland does more agricultural business in New Zealand than in the United States. He said local partnerships were beneficial in bringing knowledge back to Ireland. "We look to New Zealand ... New Zealand is a global leader and a global success story."

White said the presence of so many companies at the show with heavy equipment showed the process was worthwhile economically.

Registrations were made for 220 international visitors, including official delegations from Japan, Ecuador, South Korea, Canada and Malaysia. A group of United Nations ambassadors also visited the Fieldays.

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- Waikato Times

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