The New Zealand Government’s attention to the agrifood industry was a key success factor in helping the country cope with the impact of COVID-19, according to Massey University Professor Julian Heyes.
New Zealand’s Covid-19 resilience and recovery through agriculture and horticulture was discussed at a recent international webinar where Professor Heyes and Agriculture Group Leader in School of Agriculture and Environment Dr Janet Reid were invited to provide the keynote presentation.
The webinar had over 2000 participants online via Zoom, Facebook and YouTube with participants including the Indonesia’s Head of Ministry of Agriculture Dedi Nursyamsi, the Ambassador of Indonesia to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga and First Secretary (Primary Industries) at New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade Jack Lee.
According to Massey’s Head of School of Food and Advanced Technology Professor Julian Heyes, the collaboration between the New Zealand Government and food industry groups was critical in the success of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19, especially for local commodities.
"The New Zealand Government worked with industry to create rules for providing food stocks amid the pandemic, and approving safe practices for supply chains, which helped consumers to access agricultural products," says Professor Heyes.
The webinar focused on the importance of agriculture and horticulture in the economic recovery for Indonesia and New Zealand. It is hoped the sharing of agricultural experiences during COVID-19 between the two countries will help develop strategies to promote the development of the industry.
Massey is currently in discussions with the Indonesia Agency for Agricultural Extension and Human Resources development around capability development and collaborative research with the agricultural and horticultural polytechnic system (Politeknik Pertanian) in Indonesia.