25 Oct 2016

Taratahi look to partner with Chinese dairy company

9:01 am on 25 October 2016

Agricultural training school Taratahi is in talks to partner a Chinese dairy firm.

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Photo: AFP

It has hosted visitors from eight different countries this month, including a group from a Chinese dairy company and veterinarian association.

Taratahi chief executive Arthur Graves said there was demand from all over the world for their agricultural on-farm education model.

"We've got a visit from a Chinese organisation called Mengniu Dairy Company, and we've also got a whole bunch of students who are doing what we call 'tasters', they're trying out to see if they want to do agricultural training and learning next year [in China]."

Mr Graves said the chinese dairy company was in the country because of New Zealand's strong knowledge of agriculture.

"They want to learn about our farming systems and they want to learn about training models for skilled workers for those farming systems, because they want to pick on things they can use back at their own base."

The participants would use the skills they learnt in China's domestic farms, not Fonterra's Chinese farms, Mr Graves said.

"These are domestic corporates in China and what we're hoping, of course, is that they will use us to help them with that element of their training model.

He said they are in the early stages of discussions with the Chinese, but the intention was to work in a partnership.

"In return they would build strong relationships with New Zealand agriculture, the second thing is that they would pay for these services so it actually becomes a business opportunity for us."

Taratahi has also had visitors from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Timor Leste, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands on their Wairarapa campus.