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Future bright for primary industries

9 June 2005 Media Statement

Future bright for primary industries

The future's looking good for the country’s farmers, growers and foresters, Associate Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said today.

His comment follows the release of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's 2005 May Situation and Outlook for New Zealand Agriculture and Forestry (SONZAF).

The Update says despite the strong value of the New Zealand dollar over the past year, agricultural, horticultural, and forestry exports have more than held their own as mainstays of the New Zealand economy.

It was great that the sectors were in a good position despite recent challenges, Mr O'Connor said. "More importantly, the future is looking good.”

The Update predicts a 25 per cent increase in the total export value of pastoral agriculture, horticulture and forestry products from 2004 to 2008, and a 14 per cent increase in agriculture's farmgate contribution to New Zealand's GDP in the same period.

Mr O'Connor said the high value of the New Zealand dollar was currently depressing export prices for agricultural and forestry products. But the predicted depreciation of the exchange rate would provide a lift to export prices.

"This is expected to flow through to New Zealand’s agricultural and forestry producers in the form of higher prices for their products."

The full SONZAF Update report is available on the MAF website:
www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/rural-nz/statistics-and-forecasts/sonzaf/index.htm

ENDS

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