Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Growing our Future

New Zealand farmers are sitting on a multi-billion dollar crop if the value of pasture renewal is anything to go by.

Last week I launched an economic report which shows that we could add $1.6 billion to the New Zealand economy by treating pasture as a crop, rather than something incidental to the business of creating meat, wool and dairy products. There was a great crowd of industry players there to hear about what pasture renewal can add to our economy.

The report, by the Pasture Renewal Charitable Trust, is the first on the value of pasture to the economy and the figures are very impressive. The Trust is working hard to fill a gap and improve knowledge of methods available and the implications that some often simple measures can have for farmers.

I hope that this report will encourage farmers to look at pasture development in a new way – as an essential part of their businesses.

Photo: Hon David Carter and Murray Willocks (Chairman of PRCT) with pasture examples