Creating a prosperous economy by enabling the production of diverse high quality food

BCI is an important link in a sophisticated value chain which produces a wide range of foods for both domestic consumption and international export. Reliable irrigation creates positive economic impact through increased production, increased quality, and the economic multiplier of increased employment and the downstream processing of food.

The chart below outlines the primary land use of BCI irrigators.

Primary Land Use

Click to enlarge


Mid Canterbury has long been the powerhouse of arable food and seed production. High quality soils, climate, technical expertise, processing infrastructure, and water ensure that the food and seed production meets the stringent quality standards of wide ranging markets.

A traditional double cropping rotation is employed by many farmers in the district, with a focus on autumn feed crops for winter fattening of trading lambs and cattle, and the wintering of seasonally milked dairy cows.


From seed potatoes in the higher altitude upper plains, to onions and process potatoes in the lower plains, our district produces significant volumes of high quality produce. These crops depend on reliable irrigation water supplies.


Mid Canterbury is a significant producer of grass fed milk which is processed into a multitude of dairy products for domestic consumption and export.  Reliable irrigation for pasture growth underpins the success of grass fed farming systems, and the many people and service businesses that they support.