• John Luxton
Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control

Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton today told farmers at a cowshed meeting in Orini Downs that the agricultural sector is still one of the most exciting and varied sectors to work in.

"The opportunities in our primary industries are only as limited as your imagination. As the agricultural sector continues to diversify, we will be increasingly reliant on our knowledge base. Talented people with research and technological skills will be very much in demand."

"We need people who can continue to build on the innovation that has made New Zealand's rural sector a world leader. Farmers, exporters, marketers, and scientists who can maximise returns and generate new ideas will be highly sought after."

"The future of New Zealand agriculture lies in the development of new products, new processes and new markets. The challenge in the new millennium is to innovate faster and smarter than our competitors and continue to add value through enterprise, innovation and new technology."

"Already a large number of niche markets have sprung up in new areas such as wine, flowers, olives, avocados, asparagus and other horticultural areas. Prosperity is assured by targeting niche markets with high-value, high brand recognition. This requires marketing skills second to none in the world," Mr Luxton said.

"The rural sector is a multi-million dollar industry requiring expertise in management from the large corporation to the family farm, so there will continue to be plenty of opportunities for those people looking to combine a career in marketing with one in the primary sector."

"Agribusiness has always been the dominant source of New Zealand's export dollars, and it is going to remain so in the foreseeable future. Agriculture and its related industries have plenty to offer those seeking a diverse and challenging career ," Mr Luxton concluded