Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Tue, Jun 03 2014

Lost amidst all the doom and gloom predicted by HBRC’s staff and its holding company (HBRIC) honchos to result from the Board of Inquiry’s tough water quality regime is a positive opportunity.

If we decide we can indeed farm smarter and better.

I was reminded of this by a letter to the editor in the current North & South magazine.

The author writes: “Holland has roughly the same land area as Southland (34,000 sq km) … Holland produces $55 billion in annual agricultural and horticultural production to Southland’s $2 billion — and does so with very tight environmental regulations.”

This tracks with some comparisons made in the 2012 Riddet Institute (Massey affiliated) report, A Call to Arms, which road-mapped the way NZ could increase its agri-food exports from $20 billion in value to $60 billion by 2025.

That report noted that Canterbury is the size of Denmark, but Denmark produces over twice as much food and beverage as all of NZ, with only a slightly higher population. Italy is the same size as NZ, but feeds its larger population (60 million) and still exports twice as much food and beverage as NZ.

The experts behind A Call to Arms (HB’s own newly-knighted Graeme Avery was one of four authors) comment that meeting the growth goal would require a compound annual growth rate of around 7%. Over the past 25 years our export growth rate has been around 3%.

How might the gap be closed?

The study estimated, for example, that if the average performance of NZ’s pastoral farmers (we have plenty in Hawke’s Bay) could be lifted to the level of the top 25%, we would increase farm exports by $3 billion annually, commenting “and this is just using existing knowledge and resources”.

And the study pointed out that sustained investment in pasture renewal had the potential to lift the farm gate value of pastoral products almost 20% — from $16 billion to $19 billion.

The report also noted that our high phosphate use was a liability that needed to be addressed, especially as global supplies dwindle.

BayBuzz first wrote about Riddet’s Call to Arms in an article titled, aptly enough:Wanted: Superstar Farmers.

The point is that improved farm productivity — and profits — can co-exist with rigorous environmental protection. Every day progressive farmers prove it right here in Hawke’s Bay, elsewhere in New Zealand, and in comparable countries with whom our farm exports compete.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Unfortunately, there’s no sign that the ruling clique at HBRC/HBRIC gets the message.

Tom Belford

P.S. For the serious student, here’s A Call to Arms.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news