[17 June/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

A Ministry for Primary Industries report showed that dairy exports were expected to decrease to $13.2 billion in 2016, compared to nearly $17.8 billion in 2014. Prime minister, John Key said the 4.6 billion loss in dairy export earnings would be absorbed by other parts of the economy. Mr Key added that the growth in agriculture, horticulture and forestry meant the rest of the economy was doing well and overall New Zealand exports were growing. Mr Key noted that the pressure of the dairy downturn was one of the reasons the Government had increased funding for a Rural Mental Wellness programme by $600,000 to support farmers in tough times.