Export Surplus: Farming Has Done It Again
Export Surplus: Farming Has Done It Again - Farm Economist
Those pushing for New Zealand to become a “knowledge economy” should realise that there is only one industry that can maintain the country’s standard of living – farming. That’s the view of Waikato farm economist and finance specialist Donald Fraser.
Fraser believes that despite all the high tech hype surrounding so-called knowledge-based industries, only agriculture has the economic grunt to sustain the country for the foreseeable future.
“For the past 15 years successive governments have sold off assets to pay our way in the world, and farming suffered as a result. Now that we have run out of assets, farming has once again emerged as the only industry that can pull the economy out of the mire and keep it going”, he says.
Fraser points to figures just released showing that for the first time in seven years New Zealand has a surplus of export receipts over the cost of imports, a result driven by agricultural trade and a modest level of technology.
“In all likelihood the current firm prices for farm exports will continue, and this will cushion the economy from the downturn overseas”, he says.
“Farmers deserve recognition from the government for their crucial role in creating the wealth of the country. Wellington should do all in its power to make sure that farm business can continue without being hindered by legislation locally or trade restrictions in other countries”.
“Farming is our most successful industry. If farmers don’t continue to prosper, the whole country will suffer”, says Fraser.