Personal Reflection on ACPA and PA17
by Ian Yule
The (Asia Australasia Conference on Precision Agriculture) ACPA was an interesting barometer in how things are changing and how different parts of the world have different problems to deal with. From a personal point-of-view I felt the New Zealand held ACPA conference was quite different to many of those I had attended over the years. The world-wide participants were mainly from Asia, Australasia, but there were numbers from the USA and Europe. The audience was actually younger than most conferences I had been to, there were more women, more women demonstrating leadership through presentations and invited keynote addresses. Many of these changes also reflect the fact that agriculture and horticultural industries in New Zealand count themselves as part of the food industry. More than 90% of New Zealand produce is exported and we appear to consider vertical integration of the food production process in order to maximise the value we can extract from our efforts more than commodity based producers. We consider that high value food with provenance and quality are paramount to our survival as an exporting nation. It is the production of high value food that appears to be driving the need for greater precision. So the nature of the NZ industry is different and it is perhaps beginning to capture the interest of both genders of a younger generation. Surely this is a very positive sign and something that should be reflected on further.