7 Feb 2012

Not enough farmers taking new technologies

6:31 am on 7 February 2012

The Ministry of Agriculture Forestry says New Zealand is missing out on the full productivity gains to be made from research and development because not enough farmers are adopting the new technologies and practices that come out of it.

In a briefing paper to incoming ministers, MAF says that highly competent people are making use of the results of science investment through the likes of the Primary Growth Partnership fund.

But it says there's a relatively long tail of industry participants who are not using the new tools available to them.

As a result, MAF says, New Zealand is missing opportunities to capture greater value from agriculture and is struggling to manage some environmental effects.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter says he shares MAF's concern.

He says almost $500,000 worth of research is currently underway under the Primary Growth Partnership Fund and it's vital a way be found to transfer that new technology from the laboratory or trial farm so it is available for farmers to use to lift their game and increase their productivity and profitability.