A Lighter Touch has three research and extension themes, and a programme management theme.

Theme 1: Future Focus – ensuring programme achievements can endure well beyond the end of the programme has been an aim from the outset.

Theme 2: Agroecological Crop Protection – focusses on the mainstream adoption of agroecological crop protection in New Zealand and is at the heart of the programme.

Theme 3: Transition Projects – supports the transition to agroecology by ensuring the availability of newer more targeted crop protection products, and protecting against the development of pest and disease resistance.

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Programme Overview

Future Focus

Successful long-term transition to agroecological crop protection and the ongoing focus on consumer demands through strategic planning, consumer research, telling New Zealand’s story, and continuous development after the programme ends.

Agroecological Crop

Researching agroecological crop protection such as identifying new crop protection control options, understanding processes to access new biological controls and setting up model farms.

Transition Projects

Integrating research results into current crop protection practices in New Zealand and ensuring new and appropriate crop protection control options are available to growers.


Establishing and managing a governance group as well as steering groups will be key to the success of the programme. An industry representative group will drive the programme.