Rural Women New Zealand played a leading role in today’s launch at Parliament of the International Year of Family Farming 2014 (IYFF 2014), to coincide with the global launch at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
As one of five members of the national steering committee, Rural Women New Zealand has helped bring together a broad cross-section of groups from the agricultural sector.
Representatives of fifty organisations met at Parliament to gather information about the key issues facing family farming, develop plans for research and actions based on this information, and agree on programme outline for IYFF 2014.
Today’s workshops highlighted some of the challenges facing family farms, including succession planning and the price of land, establishment costs and the need to upgrade plant and machinery to remain competitive in an evolving market.
“The need to upskill and stay abreast of developments in the areas of financial literacy, international commodity prices and compliance was also raised,” says Rural Women NZ executive officer, Noeline Holt.
“The International Year of Family Farming is a soft landing place to talk about the hard issues, so they can be discussed within the sector with a focus on solutions.”
Rural Women New Zealand has already started planning its own celebrations for IYFF 2014, teaming up with family farming ambassador and 2013 Landcorp agricultural communicator of the year Doug Avery to run events next March and April.
Through the Royal Agricultural Society, we have confirmed A&P showground venues at Stratford, Carterton, Motueka, Rangiora and Ashburton. Further events are planned for Auckland, Wellington Christchurch and Dunedin, to help strengthen links between town and country.
“We want to celebrate family farming past, present and future,” says Noeline Holt.
The programme will include seminars, hands-on workshops and a photo and video competition, as well as entertainment and market-day stalls.
Other rural organisations are welcome to join forces with Rural Women NZ, to organise a range of activities that will offer something for everyone.