[21 May/Farmers Weekly]

The primary sector saw some gains in the Government’s first budget, with science, research and forestry being the biggest increases. Federated Farmers Vice President, Andrew Hoggard, said the $85 million allocated to Mycoplasma bovis may not be enough. National’s Agriculture Spokesman, Nathan Guy, said the amount allocated to biosecurity was half of what National invested last year. The Ministry for Primary Industries got $38 million more to aid an under-funded department. Mr Hoggard welcomed the $5 million Overseer investment. The $15 million injection into the Sustainable Farming Fund was also welcomed with it being noted that the fund had been flat lining for the past few years. Forestry was allocated $245 million over 10 years under the Billion Trees programme as part of the Provincial Growth Fund. Forest Owners Association Chief Executive, David Rhodes, noted the funding appeared to have a mix between indigenous and exotic plantings.