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New resource for primary sector launched today

Tuesday 8 May 2012, 6:33PM

By NZ Young Farmers

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A major alliance is being launched in Wellington today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. David Carter.

The initiative, the Primary Industry Capability Alliance (PICA), will help overcome the challenge facing agriculture industries in attracting skilled and experienced people.

PICA is a collaboration between Federated Farmers, New Zealand Young Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef and Lamb New Zealand, the Agriculture Industry Training Organisation, Lincoln and Massey Universities and the Ministry for Primary Industries to develop a human capability strategy for the wider agricultural industry.

PICA Chairman and CEO of New Zealand Young Farmers Richard Fitzgerald, says that with the range of opportunities available across the country in the rural sector, industry good organisations have recognised the need to coordinate courses, events and field days for all age groups.

“The launch today introduces PICA to a wide audience of agricultural-focused organisations and profiles the PICA website (pica.org.nz).

“The PICA website is the central place to get a clear picture of the pathways towards career and education goals for young people either still at school or already on the career pathway.  PICA’s overall vision is growing confidence and capability of New Zealand farmers in running their business and leading their industry,” he says.

“But PICA is much more than a website.  It is a new and fresh initiative that pulls together a pan industry collaboration focused on growing farmers’ skills and capability. It is like the global travel alliances that ensure resources are shared to create wins for all partners. We haven’t seen an initiative of this size and breadth in agriculture before and it’s exciting.”

One impetus behind PICA is the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) Fund, which aims to drive transformation in the rural sector.  The PGP work has highlighted a need to raise participation in education and training, by people about to enter the industry as well as current farm workers and managers.

Richard says agriculture is becoming more complex and the farm business environment more challenging.  “We need to make sure our farmers are equal to the opportunities that this complexity will bring.  By all the major agricultural organisations working together, sharing the same goal to grow capability on farms, we strengthen our ability to meet the future.”

Launch:  6 pm, Tuesday 8 May 2012

By:  Minister for Primary Industries, Honorable David Carter

Website:  www.pica.org.nz