7 Sep 2009

Growers object to government cost-sharing plan

11:49 am on 7 September 2009

Horticultural growers say having to carry the cost of biosecurity is likely to drive some out of the industry.

The Government has announced plans to implement cost-sharing and decision-making agreements with primary industries.

Growers' organisation Horticulture New Zealand says the industry has repeatedly advised MAF it cannot support a plan that requires industry to guarantee payment for pest incursion clean-ups.

Ken Robertson from Horticulture New Zealand says it appears growers would have to fund a special levy to cover any clean-up costs.

He says the costs could be significant and it would be difficult to sell a horticultural business with debt attached to it.

Mr Robertson says Horticulture New Zealand would have to ask up to 7,000 growers to pay significant amounts of money for quite a long period of time to meet the proposed costs.

Federated Farmers is also objecting to the Government's cost-sharing plan for pest surveillance and eradication.