Primary sector reminder to govt

A flourishing primary sector with exponential growth will ensure the new Labour led coalition government starts office on a solid footing, says Federated Farmers.

The Ministry for Primary Industries' latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report shows exports reached $38.1 billion for the year to June 2017, up 2.4 per cent on the year before.

The country's largest export, dairy, has rebounded significantly after several years of a downturn with increased exports of over 10 per cent.

"I'm sure the new coalition government will be delighted to know the primary sector, the backbone of the nation's economy, is in good shape and still a significant contributor to the country's coffers," says Federated Farmers Vice President Andrew Hoggard.

"Dairy is obviously resurgent and it is anticipated the primary sector as whole will continue to perform with export value set to exceed $41 billion by next June.

"That's an incremental rise of 9.2 per cent and this just emphasises the significance of agriculture to growing our overall economy."

Most other sectors are expected to post solid growth, with forestry and horticulture exports up around five percent and arable over seven percent.

While our meat and wool sectors were still finding market conditions challenging, Andrew says there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

"Both these sectors are still maintaining their resilience in the face of changing overseas consumer trends. Meat and wool is forecast to recover with export value to increase to $8.5 billion.

"When the new government sits down and closely analyses the value of our primary sector to the wider economy they will acknowledge that we are very lucky to have such a robust and profitable agriculture sector, responsible for 75 per cent of the country's total goods exports.

"This report is a timely reminder of the importance of the primary sector to the wider economy. We encourage the incoming government to initiate policies which reflect this, so that all New Zealanders will continue to benefit," says Andrew.



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