Fieldays began today and the University of Waikato is well represented at the annual agri-event at Mystery Creek.
The University of Waikato stand in the main pavilion is interactive, inviting visitors to include themselves in time-of-flight photography, compete against a computer to differentiate species of flora and fauna, and answer a survey about the importance of technology on farm. And there are fortune cookies for those wanting sage advice.
The biggest agri-event Downunder is celebrating 50 years. From small beginnings at Te Rapa Racecourse, Fieldays now draws people from around the world, as visitors and exhibitors. Last year 133,588 people went through the gates and generated $538 million in sales revenue for New Zealand businesses.
An economic impact report, prepared by Dr Warren Hughes and Professor Frank Scrimgeour from the University of Waikato Management School’s New Zealand Institute for Business Research (NZIBR), showcases the widespread impact Fieldays has had on the New Zealand economy since Fieldays began.
Using each year’s attendance as a scaling factor, the University of Waikato report outlines the total revenue contribution of Fieldays for the New Zealand economy over the last 49 years to be estimated at $18 billion in today’s economic value, with the GDP contribution estimated at $8 billion.
This year’s Fieldays runs 13-16 June.