Lincoln Agritech recently hosted senior officials from the Chinese National Agro-Technical Extension and Service Centre (NATESC), a division of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), (12th - 18th December). The visiting delegation included Mr Wang Ge (Deputy Director-General of NATESC), Mr Du Sen (Division Chief, Division of Water Saving Agriculture), Mrs Zhong Yonghong (Senior Agronomist, Division of Water Saving Agriculture), Mr Mi Changhong and Mr Lin Dasong (Associate Research Fellows, Agro-Environmental Protection Institute). The meeting builds on a relationship that was confirmed in June 2016 when the two parties signed a “Sino-NZ Technical Cooperation on Water-Saving Agriculture” agreement. This agreement was renewed on the 15th November at Lincoln University. Lincoln Agritech and NATESC’s goal is: to develop water-saving agricultural tools; improve efficiency of water and fertiliser use; buffer constraints in water resource shortage; and facilitate sustainable agriculture by implementing technology exchange in research areas such as soil moisture monitoring, smarter irrigation, fertigation, dryland farming and soil and water conservation.
Lincoln Agritech staff members, Peter Barrowclough (CEO), Dean Williamson (Business Development Manager) and Zheng Wang (China Business Development Manager) travelled with the group throughout NZ looking at horticultural production and precision irrigation technologies. The delegation visited various locations including Mission Estate Winery, Villa Maria’s Twyford Gravels Vineyard, a Mr Apple orchard with a representative from NZ Apple & Pears , NZ’s top producing avocado orchard with representatives from NZ Avocado, Bay Gold kiwifruit orchard, Ashley Dene research farm, Kowhai Farm exhibiting the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, the NZ-China Water Research Centre at Lincoln University, and the NZ Agricultural Show.
Lincoln Agritech gave presentations on two commercial products sold by the company in China - IRRICAD irrigation design software and HydroMetrics groundwater optical nitrate sensor. This session was also attended by Alan Townsend (Lincoln Agritech Board Member), Kevin Hurren (Director of the Lincoln University Research Office), and Lincoln Agritech staff members Blair Miller (Group Manager Environmental Research), Sophie Rebbeck (Group Manager Business Development and Marketing), and Phil Dewar (Group Manager IT).