KPMG’s global head of agribusiness, Ian Proudfoot, reports morale in NZ’s farming industries has slumped over the past year, with industry leaders struggling under the pressure.
“We could sense anger during our conversations, particularly in relation to the labour shortages the sector faces”.
Proudfoot is the author of the KPMG “Agribusiness Agenda” , delivered at a breakfast session at the opening day of the Fieldays, billed as the largest agricultural event in the southern hemisphere.
He believes NZ’s role in a global “food renaissance” could be hampered by Covid-19 fatigue and sweeping regulatory changes. . .
A farmer of 28 years is encouraging others to talk about their mental health after experiencing his own struggles.
Marc Gascoigne told Breakfast he had struggled with depression and anxiety on and off for 22 years.
However, he did not seek help until he had a “massive panic attack” six years ago, which he described as a breaking point.
Although he received support through Farmstrong, he did not speak up publicly about his struggles until his nephew, who was also a farmer, took his own life. . .
The Government is forging ahead with an ideological vanity project, in the form of a cycle bridge over Waitematā harbour, at the expense of the day-to-day maintenance of local roads and state highways across the country, National’s Transport spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.
New Zealand’s councils are $420 million short of the funding they expected to get from NZTA to maintain roads in our towns and cities around the country. Meanwhile NZTA itself is short $340 million it needs to maintain state highways.
“All up, the Government has short-changed the country $760 million worth of funding that should have gone towards maintaining our roads.
“This isn’t about building new roads, this is just making sure we can drive safely on the ones we’ve got. . . .
The 2021 Wanaka A&P Show brought $28.6 million worth of direct economic benefits to the area, an independent study has found.
The report, prepared by Research First, looked at the total expenditure by visitors, trade exhibitors, volunteers, spectators and competitors over the two-day event in March.
The amount of total direct spending is up $17.7 million on the previous independent economic impact report, undertaken in 2015 (which found that the Show contributed $10.9m worth of direct economic benefits). No economic multipliers have been applied. . .
A pilot of a new automated on-farm monitoring system designed to provide farmers with an “intelligent eye” over the health of their herd, allowing for early detection of conditions such as lameness, will be launched today at Fieldays 2021.
Created by the makers of the world’s first sheep facial recognition system, Dunedin-based Iris Data Science, the technology is currently being piloted on five dairy farms in the lower South Island with success – and the company hopes to extend this to around 50 farms.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is contributing $40,000 to the project through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) fund.
“Our pilot farms are already seeing promising results, with farmers saying they are receiving valuable, accurate, and consistent information on the condition of their herds,” says Iris Data Science’s co-founder and managing director Greg Peyroux. . .
Kiwi farmers wanting to boost their climate resilience and make a positive difference to the environment are set to benefit from ASB’s new Rural Sustainability Loan, which offers a market-leading 2.25% p.a. variable rate for sustainable farming improvements.
ASB rural customers can now tap into discounted lending to take their farm sustainability to the next level, with funding available for conservation and biodiversity restoration, and projects to drive the switch to renewable energy, prevent pollution and waste, cut emissions, and promote healthy soil, ecosystems, waterways and animal welfare.
The new offering follows ASB’s recently announced Back My Build loan, which encourages Kiwis to boost housing supply with a market-leading rate for new builds. Both initiatives make use of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Funding for Lending scheme, as ASB honours its commitment to use the low-cost funds for productive lending to benefit all Kiwis. . .