Thursday, May 28, 2009

Budget focus on innovation for agriculture

The primary sector is where this country's natural advantage lies.

As the global population increases, the world must produce more food. There are reports that by 2060 the world will need to produce twice as much food from less land. Ultimately, much of this production increase will have to come from smarter technologies and efficiencies in farming.

We cannot rely on research and development of previous decades.

Put simply, key to maintaining our status as market leaders in agriculture is continued innovation – this is something we must never take for granted.

It is the reason National promised substantially more money for primary sector innovation and why we have delivered it with Budget 2009.

We are boosting growth and innovation in the primary sectors through the funding of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP).

PGP is a government-industry partnership that will see investment in significant programmes of research and innovation in New Zealand’s primary and food sectors, including forestry.

In the first four years of the Primary Growth Partnership alone, the Government will make $190 million available alongside matching industry investment. From 2013, the partnership will see the Government investing $70 million annually in primary sector innovation.

The scope of the Primary Growth Partnership initiative includes pastoral and arable production; horticulture; seafood; forestry and wood products; and food processing.

This government is here to help, not to hobble industry. We will remove obstacles rather than create them and provide leadership to ensure the primary sector's success and development in the future.

The primary sector is the engine room of our economy and the Primary Growth Partnership will be an important incentive in helping Government and industry to lead New Zealand out of recession.

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