Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:40

All sizzle, no sausage — Editorial

Written by  Staff Reporters

OPINION: Despite all the hype and political theatre surrounding last week’s release of the Primary Sector Council’s report, the document seems more like a horoscope than a clear guide to anywhere.

Unfortunately, we are in election mode and it seems the Government has hijacked the PSC report, named Fit for a Better World Roadmap – Accelerating our Economic Potential, and turned it into a bunch of slogans, rather than any meaningful strategy.

The report claims to want to lift primary sector exports by $44 billion in the next decade. In 2019 the sector’s exports hit $46.5b – so the report’s target requires a doubling of current primary sector returns. 

The report is padded with pages of case studies – the likes of Allbirds shoes, First Light Wagyu beef and proponents of regenerative agriculture extolling its virtues. All the while, merging existing plans for spending, already announced, on tree planting and water improvements in the Budget. 

It groups the goals of the action plan under three titles: Productive (changes to what and how we produce food), Sustainable (regenerative agriculture, the Government’s existing emissions targets) and Inclusive (wellbeing, jobs, communities).

However, one can’t help but agree with the view of one commentator who described it as: “long on generalities and light on any real detail”.

When you look for the ‘how’, as in how is this going to happen, it appears the answer is a reliance on the Maori concept of Taiao – in keeping with the Māori natural world – and regenerative agriculture!

Really? That’s where the sector is going to magic up an extra $10 billion per annum in earnings for the next decade?

As for attracting 10,000 people to work in the sector – again, how? There has been little interest from New Zealanders in careers in the sector for the past 30 years – hence its reliance on migrant workers. Now, all of a sudden, the good and great are going to be flocking to jobs milking cows and driving tractors? Yeah, right!

Meanwhile, the report states that NZ should not be a volume producer – and we should stop acting like one. “Selling commodities in undiversified markets is a race to the bottom.”

All this on the back of the latest GDT auction result, which saw prices for the big-volume dairy category, wholemilk powder (an evil commodity), leap by 14%.

Clearly this Fit for a Better World Roadmap is not even fit for the paper it was written on!

More like this

Petition aims to spark support for farming

Te Kuiti-based electrician Terry Waite wants to spark support for rural NZ by demanding that the Government apologise to farmers for the way it has treated them – especially over the last couple of years.

Featured

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

National

A ticking time bomb

Our dairy industry risks being exposed to a ‘ticking time bomb’ of unethical players unlawfully passing off New Zealand-made and…

Nervous wait for winter

The unknown of what winter will bring is very much on the mind of the Hawkes Bay Rural Support Trust…

Be careful, Potatoes NZ!

Moves by the NZ potato industry to have anti-dumping tariffs imposed on European imports could play into the hands of…

China keeps dairy prices high

Whole milk powder (WMP) prices are now sitting above pre-Covid-19 levels and New Zealand farmers can thank a resurging Chinese…

Machinery & Products

Hydrogen excavator a first

While most motive industries are focused on hybrid or EV power plants, JCB has developed the construction industry’s first hydrogen-powered…

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped…

HP and digital tech combo

The latest New Holland T8 GENESIS is said to capitalise on the productive combinations of Stage V horsepower and digital…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Spell check

Your old mutt was not surprised to see the NZ Dairy Industry Awards hastily remove the title of this year’s…

About time!

Your canine crusader has been a long-time critic of NZ governments – of all stripes – who, for the past…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter