New Zealand is certainly considered as among the developed nations in the world, but the fact is that agriculture still dominates the nation’s economy and is the largest trade sector in the country. Agriculture is the main occupation here and therefore you will find more farmers here that have adopted to farming and they contribute immensely to the economy of the country. In the past, New Zealand has agricultural exports of nearly $14.8 billion and the numbers are only increasing in the future. The most unique factor about the agriculture sector in New Zealand is that it is totally exposed to the international markets as there are no subsidies, tax concessions and price supports since 1980s.
Agricultural Problems in New Zealand
While agriculture remains the biggest trade sector it also has many challenges that are often not focused. The country has been divided between the technology boom and the old ways of agriculture and that is what is one of the biggest challenges and problems that is faced by many modern farmers in New Zealand. Water degeneration is one of the biggest issues that the country is facing currently as there are many lakes like Lake Rotorua and Lake Taupo that are degenerating and they are no longer safe for human contact. This is causing lot of problems to the farmers in New Zealand hampering the agriculture sector in New Zealand. Lower levels of water quality have impacted the produce in New Zealand which is mainly because of growing use of pesticides and fertilizers that are now being used. Water overuse is also one of the major issues for agriculture in New Zealand. On the other hand, increasing use of energy and fuel consumption is not just impacting the agriculture sector, but also the environment in the country. Agriculture in New Zealand is responsible for 50% of emissions into the atmosphere.
Demand for Organic Farming in New Zealand
To offer better sustainability to farmers in New Zealand there is a growing awareness for organic farming. There are many groups and organizations that have now come up all over the country where they educate and spread awareness about how organic farming can help the farmers and the country to prosper without damaging the environment. The New Zealand Green Party is among the main parties that have been promoting organic farming in the country ensuring that they get rid of the problems in the agriculture world. The party claims that they understand that the current system of agricultural production is not sustainable and therefore they need to move on to organic farming that works. These groups are also diverting the attention of the government to some important aspects of farming that can help the farmers to do better farming without hampering the environment and natural resources.
Sustainable Farming in New Zealand
In the past few years, New Zealand government has paid attention to some of the alarming issues in the country and has come up with better farming techniques and practices that farmers can use to ensure that they get good quality crops without misusing the natural resources. For this they have come up with various measures that have helped them in many different ways at a smaller level. Sustainable land and water management is one of the main things that have been implemented across the country. Hence, there are teams that look into water management in catchment and farm level areas and ensure that the water is not polluted. There are groups that also look into the capability of the land to ensure that the land is not misused. The government also looks into reforesting of potential erosion areas and decrease dependence on fossil fuels. New Zealand government is also providing incentives for sustainable farming practices hence encouraging more and more farmers to move to organic farming methods. The government is also looking after the re-establishment of wetlands and lowland forest that can help them to get better climate and that can help the farmers to depend less on irrigation and more on natural rainfall to get better crops on time. Hence, the entire concept of agriculture has moved to old style farming and less dependence on technology to ensure better future for the country.