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Photo: Janyne Fletcher

Agriculture is the Māniatoto's most important industry, contributing more than 31 percent of the region's GDP. The rural scene is dominated by sheep and beef farming, but in recent decades dairy farming has come to play a far bigger part in the areas farming makeup. Irrigation has allowed intensively-farmed dairy operations to be undertaken on the plains of the Upper Taiari. Finding a way to manage the environmental challenges this style of farming presents is a major part of Tiaki Māniatoto's work.

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