The joint Global Research Alliance – World Farmers’ Organisation annual study tour took place in New Zealand from the 26th January to the 1st February, 2019.
Farmers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan, representing the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation, alongside farmers from Indonesia, and the President of the World Farmers Organisation, travelled to Palmerston North and the Hawke’s Bay Region in New Zealand. On the tour participants learnt more about and discussed agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, environmental farming management, and sustainable agriculture.
The group met with representatives from the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC), Massey University, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Ravensdown Fertiliser, and Plant and Food Research, as well as farmers and producers in the Hawke’s Bay Region. The New Zealand farmers hosting the group were pleased to showcase the diversity of production and innovation across the region, including sheep and beef farms, apple and blueberry orchards, dairy goats and high value cropping. Participants in particular noted the close connection between scientists, farmers, and policy makers and the commitment from farmers to care for their environment. The tour facilitated farmer-to-farmer discussion on sustainable management practices and innovative new technologies aimed at lessening the environmental impact of agricultural production. Participants were able to share their unique experiences regarding the challenges and opportunities farmers are currently facing across the globe.
This was the fifth annual study tour to be held, and third to take place in New Zealand. Previous tours have also been held in Argentina and Italy. The purpose of the Global Research Alliance – World Farmers’ Organisation annual study tour is to increase understanding and engagement on agricultural greenhouse gas research and changing environmental management practices in order to support sustainable farming.