Lasting benefit from exchange of ideas

The biggest event on the agribusiness calendar opens at Mystery Creek tomorrow.

The number of visitors from New Zealand and overseas make it easy to accept the Fielddays provide a massive economic boost for exhibitors and the local and wider economies.

But Waikato University Agribusiness Professor Jacqueline Rowarth says the millions of dollars in sales alone don’t reflect the true long-term benefit:

Two-yearly research by Waikato University’s management school has estimated the 2010 event generated $129 million for the Waikato economy, and $529 million nationally, through equipment sales and flow-on effects.

That figure was $865 million in 2008. . .

Prof Rowarth says while a surge of expenditure is expected as a result of field days, the bigger economic benefit is the increased interaction between the urban and rural community.

She says field days enables an “exchange of ideas” which creates long-term benefits, including product enhancements and improved efficiency.

“Each year, people go back to their own places and say, ‘I wonder if I could do that differently’.

“You get the urban people coming in and making comments and testing products, and then farmers and food preparers can go away and come up with ways to do it better.”

Field days is the ultimate event for the exchange of ideas because it brings the farming, urban and business communities together, Prof Rowarth says. . .

Agricultural production is a rural business but most consumers are urban. The Fielddays which brings producers, processors and consumers together and helps us learn from each other is good for all of us.

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