Address to Primary Growth Partnership ExpoPrimary Industries
Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the second Primary Growth Partnership Expo.
I want to start by acknowledging the industry partners who have committed to the PGP programmes; the business leaders who have supported these projects, and MPI and PGP programme partners who have organised today’s Expo.
I would like to pass on Minister Guy’s apologies for his absence today. He is currently leading a trade and enterprise mission to India and Sri Lanka.
The Expo this afternoon is showcasing current and completed PGP programmes that are delivering real and tangible innovation to the primary sector.
Today is a chance to celebrate the achievements and successes the PGP is bringing to industry and New Zealand.
I encourage you to peruse the stands to learn about the PGP programmes - they are a fantastic example of a successful joint investment between government and industry.
Collectively, government and industry have committed around $700 million in 18 PGP programmes.
PGP is contributing to the Government’s Business Growth Agenda by supporting the overall goal to raise the value of exports from 30 percent to 40 percent of GDP by 2025.
To achieve this ambitious target we need to boost productivity, value and sustainability in the primary industries.
Earlier this year, MPI commissioned an independent report by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research to assess the potential benefits of the PGP.
The NZIER concluded that current and future PGP programmes will deliver around $6.4 billion in GDP growth each year from 2025.
If all of the innovations are adopted widely, and the aspirations of programmes are reached, an additional $4.7 billion per year is possible. This will bring benefits of over $11 billion to our economy.
But the PGP is not just about economic gains- there are other important aspects at the heart of these programmes.
The PGP is improving the sustainability of our primary industries over the longer term; it is protecting our environment, increasing industry knowledge and skills, and delivering vital health and safety innovations to the sector.
Best of all – these PGP programmes are gaining recognition for their success.
You may have read in the media about recent successes by the Precision Seafood Harvesting programme, where technology means fish can be caught in perfect condition while small fish are released unharmed.
Last month this programme won the Supreme Award and the Innovation in Sustainability & Clean-Tech Award at the 2014 New Zealand Innovator Awards.
And SILERE alpine origin merino meat picked up the KPMG Export Innovation Award at the 2014 New Zealand Food Awards. This product was developed through a joint venture by the New Zealand Merino Company Limited and Silver Fern Farms, as part of the New Zealand Sheep Industry Transformation programme.
There are many other examples of successes by PGP programmes showcased at today’s Expo:
- These include the commercial release of the FarmIQ system that will drive farm performance by connecting farmers more directly with their processor and consumer;
- The new N-Guru tool, released by the Clearview Innovations programme, which will assist farmers with nitrogen use decisions;
- Forest harvesting on steep slopes is safer and more productive than ever before thanks to Steepland Harvesting’s innovative harvesting technologies;
- And we have seen promising results from the Seed and Nutritional Technology Development programme’s trials- where they are increasing the yield of pasture and arable crops.
The growth of these innovative technologies will set New Zealand apart internationally, and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in these programmes.
There are lots of other fantastic achievements that I could mention, but I’ll let you explore these for yourself today at the Expo.
2014 to 2017 will be a period of delivery for the PGP and I’m confident we will be celebrating plenty more successes over the next few years.