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Opportunities And Challenges, But Future Is Strong

17 November 2011

NEW ZEALAND - Opening Federated Farmers 2011 National Council, President Bruce Wills said that NZ agriculture was in a strong position to achieve profitable and sustainable farming. He challenged farmer to produce more food from less land, with a smaller environmental footprint.

"Food production is what we are good at. It is our competitive advantage as a country," Mr Wills said.

"A successful TPP could boost our exports enormously. The sky is the limit given HSBC Bank says our trade with the rest of the world could grow 83 percent in the next 15 years."

Addressing conference goers, he said that although the outlook was positive, there were many challenges ahead.

He acknowledged the key role that producers play in managing the environment, and said that the vast majority recognised this obligation.

Talking about water quality, and pollution he said that producers want good quality water too. "It’s vital for us, our stock and our crops."

He said that tt is tough forcing higher standards onto dairy farmers, if other farmers further up a catchment allow hillsides to erode putting nutrients into water. It is frustrating, if farmers are expected to reach a much higher standard than what is expected of business, councils or of the wider community.

"Water is a catchment issue and solutions need to be community focussed.

"We are heavily involved with the Land & Water Forum and are pleased by the proposed Environmental Reporting Bill."

With elections taking place next week, Mr Wills urged everyone to vote for farming. "Vote for the policies that clearly support the entire agricultural sector; on-farm, in the factories and in the research labs," he concluded.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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