Urban and Rural New Zealand would both benefit reconnecting with each other better, according to a leading agribusiness academic.
Professor Jacqueline Rowarth, of Waikato University, says while most people no longer have a connection to the land, research suggests the majority of urban people know the importance of the rural sector to the country’s economy.
But the opposite can’t be said of the rural community, who give little credence to the urban sector.
“The value of the urban sector is sometimes not paramount in the first in the rural mind”
Professor Rowarth says rural populations need to recognize more that urban populations are the biggest consumers of food and therefore are a good test market.
“For the rural community, they tend to regard a lot of regulations coming out of the urban environment but the urban people are the best test market for many of our products…they eat our food. So the reconnection is very important to New Zealand.”
Professor Rowarth says urban people need to be more empathetic to the rural communities and realistic in what is economically viable.
“A lot of what comes out of Urban is driven by the heart rather than the head and the understanding of what it takes to farm is evaporating from consciousness.”
Professor Rowarth says events like Fieldays are a great chance for reconnection between the two populations.