Under the Ministry for Primary Industries “Māori Agribusiness Extension Programme”, and in conjunction with Plant and Food Research and LandVision, Leftfield Innovation Ltd. (“LFI”) has been working with local iwi and farmers in the Whangaparāoa district of Aotearoa New Zealand’s East Cape to undertake a land review using a systems approach.
The review investigated potential land uses for each land management unit, taking into consideration the potential crops, rotations, infrastructure, labour availability and requirements, business model and market opportunities.
Specific crops and rotations were recommended, some incorporating livestock rotations and other areas where pastoral uses were more appropriate. The risks relating to certain crops in the region were highlighted, as were options that would require significant investment in infrastructure. (In other cases existing infrastructure used for other crops could also be utilised for new opportunities.)
The LFI team developed a ‘strawman’ farm system of approximately 700ha of land to demonstrate what a proposed land use case would look like.
It was clear from the work that there were opportunities for early market produce and plant-based healthy foods from the region, which would be enhanced by demonstrating good provenance.
Detailed recommendations on suggested crops and rotations were provided to the project’s stakeholders, as well as suggestions on how to trial new options.