Diversification of Wairarapa hill country : the potential for agroforestry : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Science at Massey University
The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential for agroforestry on Wairarapa Hill Country farms. It was set against a background of a marked decline in real farm income on hill country sheep and beef farms in recent years. A broad perspective on project evaluation was taken with a review of the system components presented; covering hill country farming in New Zealand, the Wairarapa, Forestry in New Zealand, and Agroforestry. The results of an intertemporal linear programming model covering a 21 year period, suggest that agroforestry can be both a profitable and feasible investment for Wairarapa Hill Country farmers. Profitability is shown to be strongly influenced by the suitability of planting sites and final timber value. With respect to feasibility, cash-flow considerations are of overriding importance. Together with factors considered outside the model, particularly the management of an integrated livestock and agroforestry property, the need for individual evaluation of each circumstance is stressed. It is recommended that significant development of agroforestry in the Wairarapa will require some form of District Association to co-ordinate planting and marketing, and provide suitable extension and management services. Further development of the model for both agroforestry and land use evaluation is suggested.