New Precision Agriculture Association Chair Named

New Precision Agriculture Association Chair Named

14 February 2018

Roger Williams Photo 14 Dec 2

Roger Robson-Williams has been elected as chairman of Precision Agriculture New Zealand, taking over from Craige Mackenzie.

Originally from the UK, Robson-Williams, who is Plant and Food Research’s general manager of science - sustainable production, brings a wealth of arable and horticultural science and innovation experience to the role, as well as a deep interest in what he describes as the primary sector’s digital revolution.

He will a bigger board - now totalling 12 – with four new members joining. They are Dr Warwick Catto, science and strategy manager Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Ina Draganova, a senior lecturer at Massey University’s New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture, Dr Callum Eastwood, a farming systems scientist at DairyNZ and Kenneth Irons, chief executive and shareholder of Precision Farming Ltd and Precision Tracking (NZ) Ltd.   

“We have increased the size of the board to get the breadth of experience and perspectives we need to move the organisation forward,” Robson-Williams said.

Among PAANZ’s priorities is determining how the organisation can enable – and increase – the uptake of technology by farmers, growers and industry stakeholders.

“We are looking hard at what tangible activities we can engage in that will benefit both members of PAANZ and the wider community of stakeholders.”

 Robson-Williams said among the challenges facing the precision agriculture in NZ is ensuring the primary sector can access and evaluate the technology that is suited to this country’s specific environment, farming systems and value-chains.

Often just associated with global positioning systems and variable rate application, Robson-Williams said these are only part of the precision agriculture story.

“There is a lot to be gaiRoned when various players along the value-chain are willing and able to talk to one another and share data.  Precision agriculture in its broadest meaning has a key role to play in enabling this connectivity and joining together stakeholders right along the value-chain.”