Thursday, May 23, 2024

Agriculture Ministers roll out woolshed roadshow

Agriculture Ministers Todd McClay, Andrew Hoggard and Mark Patterson have begun their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa yesterday.

Minister McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years, with the sector facing high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm input costs.

“The immediate priority for the Government is relieving the pressure that farmers have been feeling coming from the unworkable central government policies. That is why we are getting out on the road to hear directly from farmers,” said the Minister.

“The sector makes a critically important contribution to the fabric of our rural and regional communities. New Zealand’s food and fibre sector is the backbone of our economy, contributing over 80 per cent of our goods exports to feed an estimated 40 million people worldwide. A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy.”

Associate Agriculture Minister Hoggard said addressing unworkable and overly prescriptive regulation, so that farmers can focus on being the most efficient food and fibre producers in the world, was a priority for the Government.

“These meetings will be a great opportunity to talk directly with farmers about issues affecting them the most. I understand the importance of listening and staying connected to rural communities, as it helps government determine the direction of travel,” he said.

Associate Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Patterson said that under his delegation as Minister responsible for wool, he was working with farmers to rebuild the wool industry into a stronger and more resilient industry.

He said sheep farmers were facing a particularly hard time with the oversupply of Australian lamb flooding the market and driving prices down.

“Sheep farmers have long been the backbone of New Zealand’s farming communities and we need to get in behind and support them.”

“It has been a tough season for farmers, so we will be engaging with people from Northland to Southland meeting in woolsheds to discuss grassroots solutions,” Mr Patterson said.

The Ministers will visit the following locations over the next four months:

8 April 2024WairarapaMasterton
22 April 2024Taranaki King-CountryPiopio
22 April 2024Taranaki King-CountryTe Kuiti
23 April 2024WaitakiWaimate
23 April 2024WaitakiFairlie
24 April 2024WhanganuiEltham
24 April 2024WhanganuiFordell
24 April 2024RangitataMt Somers
24 April 2024SelwynMalvern
3 May 2024KaikouraBlenheim
10 May 2024RangitikeiTurakina
10 May 2024RangitikeiCheltenham
13 May 2024East CoastGisborne
14 May 2024East CoastTologa Bay
17 May 2024SouthlandFive Rivers
15 July 2024TukitukiHastings
15 July 2024WairarapaDannevirke
18 July 2024NorthlandDargaville
18 July 2024NorthlandKerikeri

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