Massey agribusiness expertise applied to Indonesia

From left, Massey College of Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ray Geor, New Zealand ambassador to Indonesia Dr Trevor Matheson, the University of Mataram rector Professor Sunarpi, Provincial Secretary to the Governor of NTB Province, Vice Bupati North Lombok District, Head of Agriculture for the District of Dompu and Massey University Associate Professor Chris Anderson.

Massey University is lending its expertise to help Indonesian farmers build capability and to realise long-term sustainable development goals. The four year Indonesian agribusiness development project was launched yesterday at the University of Mataram on the island of Lombok, east of Bali.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have contributed $4.2 million to the project via the New Zealand Aid Programme. This support will enable farmers to build infrastructure, improve productivity and create new business, drawing on the best of New Zealand’s agricultural expertise.

Massey University in partnership with the University of Mataram will integrate the latest tools and technologies into existing corn and cattle and fresh fruit and vegetable farming systems in the districts of Dompu on the island of Sumbawa and North Lombok on the island of Lombok.

This includes integrating cropping and dry-lot cattle production systems that will improve year round production efficiencies. Teams will work with farmers to implement innovations that allow farmers to better meet standards and sell bulk lots of their grain. The development of quality standards for fresh fruit and vegetables and pack houses for fresh products will allow local farmers to supply high-end hotels on Lombok’s north west coast.

Off the farm, agribusiness specialists from Massey University, working with University of Mataram counterparts, will facilitate increased communication between farmers, banks and sellers through agribusiness service centres in Dompu and North Lombok.

Associate Professor Chris Anderson from Massey’s Institute of Agriculture and Environment says the project is a “win-win”.

“This is a great example of globally-relevant agribusiness that will create opportunities for both Indonesian farmers and Massey-trained graduates. There are also some exciting research opportunities to showcase the best of New Zealand science and technology.”

Director of Agrifood Business Professor Claire Massey says the project is about applying Massey’s knowledge in agrifood-business to real-world initiatives. “We’re creating mutually beneficial relationships which will address some of the major challenges facing Indonesian farmers. It’s just one of the ways we’re [Massey] providing thought leadership worldwide.”

Dignitaries attending the launch were Massey College of Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ray Geor, New Zealand ambassador to Indonesia Dr Trevor Matheson, the University of Mataram rector and the Governor of the east Indonesian province of Nusa Tenggara Barat.

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