17 Sep 2014

Meat group wants lower education cost

4:04 pm on 17 September 2014

Beef and Lamb New Zealand says it wants to see the cost of tertiary agricultural education reduced.

It has raised the issue as part of its pre-election manifesto and is calling for the incoming government after Saturday's general election to help lower costs in a bid to attract more young talent into the industry.

A farmer checking the quality and growth of grass in Wairarapa.

A farmer checking the quality and growth of grass in Wairarapa. Photo: PHOTO NZ

As New Zealand's second biggest export earner worth $8.5 billion per year, Beef and Lamb says the Government needs to future-proof the sector.

Chairman James Parsons said it has put forward a number of policy priorities.

"The key themes really are we want to see greater investment in research and development. It's really important that we see a confident and profitable sheep and beef sector in research and development helps drive that in terms of new innovations and increased productivity there.

"It's of critical importance to the sheep and beef sector that the Government continue to fund things like the Primary Growth Partnerships through MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries). We think that really provides step change opportunities for the primary sector so we encourage that to continue.

"Environment is a big focus for us in ensuring that nutrient discharge regimes are constructed well.

"Then trade is obviously a big area. Generally, about 80 to 90 percent of what we produce we export, so that's really important around reducing trade barriers and decreasing tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers."

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