15 Jul 2013

Bid to improve financial literacy of women farmers

8:57 am on 15 July 2013

The country's dairying women are joining forces with ASB Bank to improve the financial literacy skills of women farmers.

DairyNZ has calculated that the industry's profitability could rise by $1 billion a year, or about $1000 a hectare, if financial literacy and management capabilities were improved.

The industry body has found that there is a significant range in profitability between dairy farms, and contributing factor is management skills.

The Dairy Women's Network says its members are directors, managers and in many cases, owners of multi-million dollar businesses that need people with sound financial and business acumen.

Executive chair Michelle Wilson says the network has grown rapidly over the past few years, reflecting the changing face of the role of women in dairying and the significant contribution they make to its success, as farmers and effectively as financial managers.

She says a number of women are involved in numerous farming operations or in large operations, but smaller farms also need to be savvy because they need to find other ways of increasing income rather than just by increasing the size of the farm.

ASB Bank says the actual makeup of its workshops for the network's 4800 members is yet to be decided, but might include understanding and interpreting financial accounts, budgeting, cash flow planning and use of technology.

The bank says its association with the Dairy Women's Network will raise its profile and increase its involvement with a fast-growing community of what are essentially financial planners.