PR - Challenges Facing Agriculture In New Zealand
The rural population of New Zealand as a proportion of the total is falling. An important consequence of this is diminished representation for the rural sector in the House of Representatives and on regional councils. The agricultural group within the rural sector is dominated by livestock farmers. Environmental legislation, passed in recent years, has important implications for livestock farmers. A major study on intensive farming and the environment questioned some common practices, in particular use of artificial nitrogen and some aspects of irrigation. The environment is now a major concern to many urban dwellers. In New Zealand, the bulk of the agricultural output is exported. Consumers in some markets, in particular Europe/UK, as well as some major retailers, are looking closely at environmental aspects associated with imported food as well as animal welfare, food safety and traceability. New Zealand livestock farmers face a number of challenges related to the environment and other issues. This paper addresses some of these.
Keywords: New Zealand, livestock, farmers, exports, environment, consumers.