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Monitor Farm Programme

Meat and Wool Innovation's Monitor Farm Programme is a practical initiative designed to build the business strength of the New Zealand pastoral industry.

In the 2000/01 year, there were 26 monitor farms running throughout New Zealand (see map for the geographical areas covered). Around 80 farms were involved in the programme in each region.

A monitor farm is usually an individual farm, chosen by the local community, which a community group advises and monitors over a set period. However, this year a ‘production enterprise’ system of three farms in each of the Hawkes Bay and Manawatu regions is being trialed.

The aim of the Monitor Farms Programme is to increase farmers’ awareness of manageable factors affecting their businesses, to motivate them to modify their systems to increase productivity and profitability while minimising risk, and to be market driven.

A business approach to farming is encouraged through facilitating the preparation of individual business plans and the implementation of monitoring systems to allow specific quality targets to be identified and achieved.

To get the maximum benefit from the monitor farms, each farm has a community group which meets regularly and discusses monitoring results and their effects on the farm business plan. These community groups comprise local agribusiness people, including farmers, veterinarians, consultants, scientists, processors, financiers, etc.

The results of a 1998 cost benefit analysis of the programme show that involvement in the Monitor Farm Programme had an average net benefit of $6–7000 annually per farm involved, with a cost benefit ratio of 1:20 from the investment in the programme.

 

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