Huge potential for farm exports: report

New Zealand has the potential to capture $1.3 trillion more in agricultural exports between now and 2050 if targeted actions are taken, a report by ANZ says.

ANZ managing director commercial and agri Graham Turley said the report revealed the extent of opportunities for producers and exporters as rising incomes and population growth drive demand for soft commodities.

With abundant land, water and skills, and geographical proximity to the growth markets of Asia, New Zealand's agricultural sector was "ideally positioned" to meet that growing demand.

However, significant barriers would have to be overcome "at every step of the supply chain".

These included sourcing capital to fund growth, attracting skilled labour and enhancing agriculture education. Focus must also be on national agricultural research and development, closing performance gaps and improving productivity of farms, improving supply chains and targeting key markets.

Between now and 2050, about $340 billion in additional capital would be needed to drive production growth and support farm turnover in New Zealand, the report said.

"Our agricultural sectors need more investment to drive production growth and to support farm turnover," Mr Turley said.

"The danger we face is that we are now alone in seeking to exploit the global soft commodity boom, and countries like Brazil, with its highly successful soy industry, are leading the charge.

"If we are serious about wanting to develop vibrant, globally dominant and highly profitable agricultural industries, we will need all stakeholders in the industry to work together to bring about change," he said.

The report found rising incomes and changing diets in developing countries meant the world would demand at least 60% more agricultural output by 2050, compared with 2005-07.


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