With the world's population set to reach nine billion by 2050
and much of it in nearby Asia, the Minister for Primary
Industries, Nathan Guy is predicting an exciting future ahead
for all New Zealand's primary industries.
Speaking at the Deer Industry New Zealand conference in
Methven, the minister said as these populations get
wealthier, they will want more and more of the premium
products New Zealand produce.
The deer industry had about 1.1 million animals generating
about $250 million a year, with markets in Europe, the United
States and China very important, Mr Guy said.
This was made up of $181 million in venison, $26 million in
velvet, $22 million in co-products and $6 million in hides.
Last year's drought in the North Island and the West Coast
had reinforced the importance of managing water, he said.
''Done properly, irrigation and water storage schemes offer
huge potential benefits to New Zealand. Economic modelling by
NZIER suggests that irrigation has the potential to increase
our agricultural exports by over $4 billion annually by
If current proposals were advanced there could be a further
420,000ha of irrigated land available for a variety of uses
over time, Mr Guy said.
The minister praised farmers for the efforts they had made to
improve their environmental performance.
''The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management is
a major step forward on the crucial issues of water quality
and quantity limits.
''We must find ways of farming within limits. Limits provide
a platform for growth because we know what we need to
''We also know that we play an important part in finding
solutions. It is not until we make changes on our own farms
such as reducing stock access to water, managing erosion and
reducing the loss of nutrients that any difference will be
made to water quality.
''As a government we are investing in science to improve our
understanding of the factors affecting water quality, and we
are empowering farmer-led research through investment in the
Sustainable Farming Fund.''
The Government had supported 19 deer projects during the past
13 years through the fund.
- by Maureen Bishop