Enabling innovation in agriculture

Enabling innovation in agriculture

Pivot: Enabling Innovation in Agriculture is our premier research award that encourages innovation in the Taranaki agricultural sector. The award is jointly funded by Massey University and the Bashford-Nicholls Trust (managed by BAF – Bishop’s Action Foundation) and offers a maximum value of $100,000 per annum, equally funded by the Trust and Massey.

The successful inaugural recipients of the Pivot Award will explore the relationship between regenerative food systems, sustainable livelihoods and thriving communities. The project will be action research, undertaken in partnership between Farm Next Door, a growing network of small-scale urban organic market gardens in central New Plymouth and Massey University researchers and associat

The successful research project ‘Farm to Flourish’ will be led by Massey University’s Associate Professor of the School of People, Environment and Planning Dr. Sita Venkateswar, Associate Head of School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing Dr Nitha Palakshappa and Dr. Dirk Roep from Wageningen University, Netherlands, whose Rural Sociology Group has been involved in various studies on alternative value chains and alternative food networks in the Netherlands and Europe and regenerative agrifood systems.

The trio’s research will be focused on Farm Next Door’s next phase of development, working alongside its founder Carl Freeman and others. Farm Next Door aims to support the growth of a new urban farming community and an expanding network of local producers who farm regeneratively, earn income from their land and supply local values-based produce for local consumers. The Farm Next Door research will be a testing ground for new economic and business models that will arise from the project’s findings, which can then be used to aid more initiatives like it. Public workshops will also take place, supported by the research award.

We believe that true transformational change hinges on the ability to harness knowledge, practice and the power of community when parties are brought together to engage meaningfully. This is exactly what we see the award recipients aiming to achieve.  The research also complements wider regional programmes that are underway as Taranaki positions itself to meet its vision of becoming a low emissions economy as articulated in its Taranaki 2050 Roadmap.

The Pivot award offers an applciation round closing late September each year.  The award supports research projects, or the application of new research, to benefit communities and industries in Taranaki. Projects must have the potential to influence the future of agriculture or veterinary science, and effect change. To be eligible, applicant teams must comprise at least 50 per cent Massey researchers – either staff and/or students studying at postgraduate level.

For more information visit https://taranakischolarships.communityforce.com/