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Massey planning agri-research in new Sino-NZ business park

By RJ Whitehead , 20-Nov-2012

A delegation of municipal staff from south Beijing have returned home after seeking New Zealand’s expertise in food production ahead of the completion of a Sino-Kiwi agricultural park in the Chinese capital.

Delegates from Daxing district had visited the Manawatū campus of Massey University in New Zealand to view and discuss the university’s agricultural technology and research, which could soon be used in the under-construction agricultural park, which resides in a suburb with a population of more than 600,000.

The New Zealand Agricultural Park is being established as a joint venture between Daxing district, the Wellington City Council and other as yet unidentified New Zealand agricultural organisations to showcase the country’s agricultural technology and research, with Massey in talks to become part of the venture. 

Professor Claire Massey, associate pro-vice-chancellor of the Massey College of Business and the university's agrifood director, said that a laboratory or research centre could be established in the park. 

[The Chinese delegation] wanted to set up an intensive area where they would grow food, but they are also very interested in intensive farming,” she said. 

They are interested in looking at the science they can use to produce more food and we have a whole lot of the science that can enable them to do this better.

"It’s the absolute early days of discussions but it’s about using our capabilities in agrifood, their need for that food, in a joint-venture between New Zealand and Beijing.”

The park will be built to New Zealand’s quality-control standards and become part of Beijing's "Green Economic Ring".

Wellington City Council international relations manager Tom Yuan, who is working on the project, says the district is interested in Massey’s expertise. “They would like to invite [Massey] experts to Beijing, to be part of research projects and work alongside other researchers,” he said. “It would also mean PhD students could come here [to Daxang] too.

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