Drought costs NZ $2.8 billionAgriculture
Agriculture Minister David Carter has revealed that the nationwide drought between spring 2007 and autumn 2008 cost the New Zealand economy $2.8 billion.
A Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry report outlining the effects of the 2007-2008 drought shows that the total cost to the New Zealand primary sector from the drought was $1.9 billion on-farm and $900 million off-farm.
Regional and National Impacts of the 2008 Drought uses farm modelling to compare forecast budgets with actual outcomes for each sector. The Waikato was the worst-affected region, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui and Taranaki.
"The sheer size of the economic impact of this drought reflects just how important the primary sector is to the New Zealand economy", said Mr Carter.
Major impacts of the drought included reduced quality of stock going into the 2008/09 breeding season, reduced quantity of milk from dairy farms and increased costs from buying in supplementary feed.
Mr Carter said that with extreme weather patterns increasing farmers need to plan drought recovery and should familiarise themselves with the assistance available for adverse events.
"Not having a plan is planning to do nothing," said Mr Carter.
The full Regional and National Impacts of the 2008 Drought report is available at http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/rural-nz/emergency-management/droughts/