Former Primary Industries Minister and Fonterra board aspirant Nathan Guy believes his relationships with bureaucrats in Wellington will help the co-op’s farmers immensely.
"The NZIER report further concludes that the PGP has the potential to achieve an additional $4.7 billion per annum by 2025 if all the R&D is successful, the aspirational stretch of PGP programmes is achieved, and the innovations are widely uptaken.
"This would add up to $11.1 billion per annum to New Zealand's economy by 2025.
"The PGP is about supporting innovation in the primary industries, which are the backbone of New Zealand's economy – accounting for over 70% of our merchandise exports. There are currently 18 announced programmes jointly funded by industry and government."
The $11.1 billion per annum figure is made up of:
• $2.2 billion - GDP projected growth from government investment
• $4.2 billion – GDP estimate from industry investment
• Other aspects adding to $4.7 billion (i.e. from increasing the success of R&D, achieving the aspirational stretch of programmes and improving uptake of the innovations).
"The long term 30-year benefit cost ratio (BCR) for the government funding alone is 32, which confirms what a good investment this is. Clearly this will be a big part in achieving the Government's goal of doubling primary sector exports by 2025.
"Science and innovation are key drivers of economic growth and international competitiveness, as noted in the Government's draft National Statement of Science and Investment. Boosting productivity in New Zealand's primary industries will mean more exports, more jobs and an improved standard of living for New Zealanders.
"NZIER estimate extra income per year of $270 per hectare for hill country farming, $600 per cow for dairy, $370 per tonne of exported seafood, and $190 per hectare for forestry.
"It's also worth noting these figures don't include wider benefits the PGP will deliver, such as environmental sustainability and improvements to health and safety," Guy says.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) commissioned the NZIER to carry out independent research into the economic impacts of the PGP and provide a robust analysis of potential export growth, GDP growth, and other economic measures.
As at 30 April 2014, the total government funding paid to the 15 programmes currently underway was $99.8 million.