Wednesday, 21 June 2023 16:55

Food supply relies on govt support for rural sector

Written by  Staff Reporters
Animal and Plant Health NZ chief executive Mark Ross. Animal and Plant Health NZ chief executive Mark Ross.

Animal and Plant Health NZ chief executive Mark Ross says the Government needs to step up efforts to support the rural sector so that all Kiwis can access safe, healthy and affordable food.

“The farming sector has been hit by natural disasters, over-regulation, and pests that can wipe out harvests in one hit, yet it provides us with most of the food on our plates,” Ross says.

“In return, farmers suffer arduous regulations, delays in accessing technology and biosecurity incursions,” he says.

The latest biosecurity threat to hit New Zealand’s shores was the Fall armyworm, which farmers overseas have been fighting for several years.

Ross says New Zealand needs to act faster and smarter against biosecurity threats.

“If our neighbours are at war with a pest incursion, we should be ready to tackle it and offer a leg up to farmers.

“It’s pointless joining the battleground without a weapon.”

Animal and Plant Health NZ has released a manifesto, providing actions the Government can take.

They want to see an increase in research and development for food production, the adoption of genetic technology, and the implementation of a faster system for registering products against biosecurity threats.

“This will protect our $7 billion horticultural industry and $39 billion animal protein market from devastating losses,” says Ross.

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