Monday, 16 September 2019 09:29

Report shows value of ag chem

Written by  Mark Ross, chief executive of Agcarm
Mark Ross, Mark Ross,

A landmark report reveals that without crop protection products, New Zealand’s economy would lose $7.5 to $11.4 billion.

The report covers horticulture, vegetables, forestry, pasture and field crops. 

The NZ Institute of Economic Development recently released the report, ‘The Importance of Crop Protection Products for The New Zealand Economy’, showing that, on average, crops would lose 30% of their value without these products. 

The horticultural sector alone would lose 75% of the value of its crops, resulting in a $4b loss to the industry and the economy.  This would severely affect our growers, who wouldn’t be able to grow commercial quantities of crops without these products. Yields would be much lower and the economic impact substantial.

Not only does the crop protection industry have an important part to play in supporting the economy, it is also vital for producing safe food and protecting crops from damaging pests and disease. It develops tools to manage biosecurity incursions which damage our native species and crops.

A severely reduced kiwifruit production would have resulted from the 2010 PSA outbreak. The use of these products was a vital part of managing the deadly bacteria which could kill a kiwifruit vine if left unmanaged. 

On the plus side, even a small increase in horticultural productivity has a ripple effect in boosting the economy. Innovation can have a substantial effect on productivity, with a small increase being worth $10m to $100m. 

The industry ensures a continuing variety of new pest control products on offer solutions to growers and farmers. 

Agrichemicals that are more environmentally friendly, more effective and more targeted allow farmers to better kill target pests while protecting human health and allowing beneficial flora and fauna to prosper. This is reflected in the importance of the regulatory regime which approves these products for use. 

The report highlights that delays in this process mean that newer, softer and more environmentally friendly chemistries take longer to get to market. It says that a one-year delay means a loss of $7m to $70m to the GDP over 10 years. 

The crop protection industry in NZ is small. In fact, its contribution to the GDP is less than 1%, but it has far-reaching effects. Without these products, NZ’s growers would not be able to grow enough crops. The impact of this would affect more than just the economy.

The report can be found on the Agcarm website www.agcarm.co.nz

Mark Ross is chief executive of Agcarm, the industry association for makers and distributors of crop protection and animal health products.

More like this

Desperate hort sector demands govt action

Horticultural exporters, growers, food companies and industry leaders are pleading for the Government to make a plan to allow Pacific Island seasonal workers to return later this year.

Seasonal worker facility opened

A new state of the art accommodation facility for RSE or temporary overseas workers at a large Māori kiwifruit orchard in the Bay of Plenty has been opened by the Minister of Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta.

Vege crops at risk of rotting

Fruit and vegetable growers are warning their produce will be left unpicked and rotting in the fields unless the Government approves urgent visas for overseas workers.

National

Ice broken on an old problem

Three enterprising Mackenzie College (Fairlie) students may well have come up with the perfect solution to an age-old problem of…

Cruel April Fool's joke!

In an ironic twist, the Government has pushed back the date of its so-called 'ute tax' or feebate scheme to…

Machinery & Products

Keeping everyone safe

As tractors get larger and front linkage kits become more common, many have started fitting underrun or collision protection systems.

Keeping stock and drivers safe

Livestock haulers are a crucial link in the New Zealand agriculture supply chain, transporting stock onto or between farms, to…

Making lamb marking easy

Designed by a sheep and beef farmer, Vetmarkers are made in New Zealand and sold around the world.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Lock him up!

OPINION: This old mutt notes that Geoff Reid, an 'environmental activist' - whose activism appears to be limited to surreptitiously…

Milking it?

OPINION: Your canine crusader understands members of the 'strategic groups' invoked in the Government-backed 'Fit for a Better World' programme…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter