Primary sector cash for more jobs and hi-tech help

More money will be invested in encouraging young people into the primary sector.

More money will be invested in encouraging young people into the primary sector.

More money will be spent to encourage jobs, investment and high tech farming systems in the primary sector.

The Government will invest $7.5 million over the next two years in four areas, but specific allocations have not been decided. The funding is Budget spending but was not  announced last week.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the money would be spent on identifying new farming systems and processes; building international consumer trust in New Zealand products; identifying and prioritising opportunities to increase investment, employment and incomes in the primary sector; and encouraging more people to get involved in the primary industries.

A recent report highlighted the need for an additional 50,000 jobs in the primary sector by 2025.

Guy said additional funding would be used to improve the Overseer nutrient management tool, which helps farmers and growers to improve their productivity, reduce nutrient leaching into waterways, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  He said the funding was part of a plan to significantly improve Overseer over the next three years.

New Zealand First primary industries spokesman Richard Prosser said his party had been highlighting under-investment in Overseer for some time.

Guy said the Government was also investing "to authenticate our goods by making products harder to counterfeit and building consumer trust in New Zealand products".

A spokesman said this money would be used to strengthen trademarks in areas such as milk products and honey, where products overseas were sometimes passed off as from New Zealand.

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 - Stuff

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