6 results for Attwood, E. A.

  • The New Zealand farm business and the current changes in its structure

    Attwood, E. A.

    Working or discussion paper
    Lincoln University

    Farming is an industry which depends on the work, decisions and competence of a large number of individual farmers, each of them running their own farm business. These business units vary widely in the resources at their disposal and in the volume and type of production which is generated from these resources. In New Zealand particularly, the energies and decisions of farmers are essential to the well being of the entire national economy. While a great deal of statistical data is published on the farming sector, there has been relatively little emphasis on the present structure and the changes of the individual farm business. In view of the complex nature of the ordinary farm, it is difficult to present the full picture in terms of the economic character of all the farms in New Zealand. Yet, unless this picture is complete, it is not possible to assess the future of the farming sector and of the various factors which will determine that future. It is the purpose of this study to evaluate the New Zealand farming sector in terms of the changes in the basic economic nature of the individual farms themselves. The study is based on published data, most of which are derived from the detailed Agricultural Census returns which are completed by New Zealand farmers, together with the data in the Population Census results. It is inevitable that such a vast body of information, involving initially over 1 million pages of farm information, completed by over 70,000 people should lead to some difficulties of interpretation and considerable problems of distilling this vast amount of figures into a manageable and comprehensive form. In spite of these difficulties, the available statistics provide a considerable insight into the current economic developments on New Zealand farms.

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  • The current situation and policies of the New Zealand cereals sector

    Attwood, E. A.

    Working or discussion paper
    Lincoln University

    In New Zealand's agricultural sector, the dominant position of pastoral enterprises has resulted in relatively little importance being attached to the production of arable crops. At times of strong demand and remunerative prices for milk, sheepmeat, beef and wool, the comparative advantage of New Zealand producers of these products over those in other countries has justified the general lack of any strong concern for the development of the arable sector. When, however, the market for livestock and livestock products is weak, the further expansion of other farm products, including cereals, becomes a much more attractive proposition. It is not perhaps always appreciated that the proportion of total agricultural land in New Zealand devoted to cereal production is very small. Over the past decade, the area under cereals has fluctuated around 200,000 ha with the trend over these years being slowly downwards, from an average of 210,000 ha during the five year period 1973-77 to an average of 190,000 over the period 1979-83 (although the 1983-84 out turn has shown a sharp reversal of this trend). This area under cereals represents less than one per cent of the total agricultural land in the country, although the quality of the land involved is above that for the country as a whole. Cereals account for less than ten per cent of the proportion of the 2.5m hectares of land of high actual or potential value for the production of food. This paper is concerned with the production and utilisation of the four cereals produced commercially in New Zealand - wheat, barley, oats and maize, and the official policies which influence them.

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  • The current situation and future development of the New Zealand pig industry

    Attwood, E. A.

    Working or discussion paper
    Lincoln University

    Although in the past pig production has been an important export industry, today it is only concerned with the domestic market. It is an industry which has not benefitted from direct government subvention, as has been the case with many other farm products. Currently the industry is in an expansionist phase, involving the rapid adoption of new technology in production and the planned growth of existing markets. At present the value of pig output at farm gate prices is of the order of $100m a year. Pig production is no longer a subsidiary activity on dairy farms, operated in order to turn dairy byproducts of no commercial value into saleable products. Although some producers still have access to sources of cheap feed supplies, much of the industry is based on cereals and protein for which it has to pay the full commercial price in competition with other buyers. Over the past 50 years, pig producers have experienced widely fluctuating fortunes - generated not only by domestic factors but also by the changes on external markets. A succession of attempts to provide a satisfactory institutional framework have been made since 1921, the most recent being the setting up of the Pork Industry Board in 1983. While there is a considerable volume of research into the production of pigs, including consideration of studies undertaken abroad, there has been very limited work on the economic issues. There is a need to consider the allocation of expenditure on research, in order to give a better understanding of the economic factors which determine change and the level of prosperity in the industry. The present study is a contribution to the debate on the further development of the New Zealand pig industry; it brings together the available statistical and economic information on the current situation, assesses efficiency in production and marketing from that information, identifies alternative strategies for further development and makes recommendations. It reports on a postal survey of a stratified random sample of producers which gives details of their existing policies and their views on the issues which will affect future developments.

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  • The future of the Common Agricultural Policy and its implications for New Zealand

    Attwood, E. A.

    Working or discussion paper
    Lincoln University

    The development and continued viability of the New Zealand economy is based on the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and the opportunities for sales of its output on the main world markets for food. This competitiveness of farming has continued to improve, primarily through a more efficient use of inputs rather than through any significant growth in total output, as the growth in output has been constrained by the problems of finding remunerative external markets. This problem has become of increasing complexity with the development of stronger protectionist policies in agricultural products in many areas of the world. This has been most evident in the case of the European Community (EC) where the Common Agricultural Policy has had a substantial impact on New Zealand's agriculture and therefore on the New Zealand economy as a whole. Agriculture in Europe, however, also faces major difficulties on its own domestic market, as the growth in output has created enormous problems of finding remunerative markets. The present study sets out to explain the underlying forces which have fashioned the evolution of the Common Agricultural Policy; the factors which are dominating the current developments in that policy and which will continue to determine its course over the coming years. The basic horizon for the consideration of future events is the end of the present decade. Even that may be too long a period over which to project the economic social and political factors which shape the decisions taken by the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. The purpose of the study is to present a reasonably comprehensive, but not too detailed, account of the CAP and an assessment of its current development for New Zealand agriculture, in the hope that a better understanding of the European situation might help to contribute towards a solution of the economic difficulties between New Zealand and the European Community.

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  • Some aspects of the farm income situation in New Zealand

    Attwood, E. A.

    Working or discussion paper
    Lincoln University

    The implementation of effective measures of economic management requires a substantial volume of statistical information as the basis of measurement of the needs and achievements of current policies. Two of the most important economic issues in New Zealand, as in other developed economies, are the growth in the level of incomes and in the level of employment. These issues arise not only in relation to economic policy at a national level but are also of importance down to sectoral and sub sectoral levels where this is of concern to economic policy decision makers. A consideration of the trends and of the prevailing situation of average incomes and of the numbers employed in different sectors of the economy is a major aspect of policies which affect the pattern of income distribution within the community. The economic policies pursued by governments have both a direct and incidental effect on the incomes of the various sectors of society and this is as true in the case of agriculture as for other sectors. The statistical data currently available in New Zealand provide a considerable volume of detail on average net incomes of the major farm types, but no direct information on average incomes of farmers collectively. However, for reasons set out later in this paper, the available statistics on net farm incomes from the various farm surveys are subject to many qualifications such as to make them of limited value. Nor do the data on the numbers employed in farming appear to be sufficiently accurate to make them of real value in any policy assessment.

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  • Economic aspects of agricultural education and training in New Zealand

    Attwood, E. A.

    Working or discussion paper
    Lincoln University

    In view of the rapid growth of agricultural education and training and the amount of Government funding involved, it is questioned whether the system inherited from the past is equipped to serve the best interests of the industry in the future (Elworthy 1983). This issue was raised in relation to the way the industry has got by in the past with light handed and informal procedures for coordination, but whether the present system of agricultural education serves the best interests of the industry raises more fundamental issues than that of coordination (even though that issue is no doubt of considerable importance). There are in fact three basic questions which need to be considered in any comprehensive examination of the policy for agricultural education and training: (a) what precisely does agricultural education and training contribute towards the best interests of the industry and just what is meant by that phrase? (b) what level of total funding of agricultural education and training is appropriate, in the light of the present situation of the economy as a whole and the part played by the agricultural sector in that situation? (c) what is the most cost efficient distribution of the total funding, determined after consideration of (b) above, between the various agricultural education and training programmes and the different institutions involved? These are complex questions which go to the heart of a rational policy on agricultural education and training. They are, however, not just theoretical ones; decisions are made on the level of funding and on the allocation between different programmes and institutions (or rather, what appears to happen at present is that decisions are made on amounts to be paid to the different institutions and organisations, and these together add up to the total funding that is provided by the Government).

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