News and Views

MPI report – reasons to be cheerful

The strength and value of the New Zealand primary sector is indisputable with industry exports projected to exceed $41.4 billion by mid-2018.

The latest Ministry for Primary Industries report, Situation & Outlook for Primary Industries, predicts continued growth through to 2019.

“It certainly makes for good reading. As a farmer you also want to see it reflected in genuine returns at the farm gate, where you can make a sustainable profit too,” says Federated Farmers National President Katie Milne.

“We’ve had a challenging spring in terms of growing crops and pasture and now the pendulum has swung to extreme dry in some areas and this may unfortunately impact on some of those longer term predictions.

“No one can really foretell what 2018 will bring, but farmers have had enough disruption lately to not get too far ahead of themselves.”

Annual dairy exports were forecast to increase by 15 percent to $16.8 billion, with meat and wool projections also on an upward trend, by 4.2 percent at $8.7 billion for the year to June 2018.

The Arable industry was also in good shape with seed exports forecast to rise 12 percent to $220 million.

Adding to the good vibe meanwhile is Agriculture Minister Damien O’ Connor, who has pledged to grow primary sector capability through further support and investment towards the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF).

The Minister believes there is genuine opportunities for producers to become more profitable and move up the value chain to suit a growing discerning consumer base.

A former recipient of the Fund for an environmental project, Katie says the primary sector is in an enviable position and should be ready to capitalise.

“The SFF is a great initiative and suitably allows for the small and big projects to get funding. This has huge incentives for farmers and growers who generally lead these research projects and are trialing in the field.

“We are globally renowned for being a quality food producer that is safe and reliable. The challenge for producers is to maximise that hard-earned reputation and get the market returns they deserve,” says Katie.

Source: Federated Farmers

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