Dollars and BiotechnologyFriday, Dec 29, 2000
Further confirmation if needed, of the changed prospects for a continuing low dollar is coming out of
the finance trading houses.
The worst aspect of this change is the realisation that few farmers, other than those dairying, will
have had access to the financial management tools available to ensure that at least this seasons
production could be sold on the early season pricing prospects. Perhaps it indicates the need for
producers to acquire skills and judgment in forward selling of production or forward buying of exchange
to further improve the efficiency of their operations.
I have heard it said by farmers that they have enough problems to handle inside the farm gate and that
looking for more decisions on matters outside the farm gate is a folly. But in many instances a
10 percent change in the dollar implies a 20 percent change in the farm gate price. Is that not worth
some effort to capture?
A news report out of the US of public policy recommendations for Biotechnology agreements between the
EU and US makes for disturbing reading. The progress of the anti-science lobby against legitimate
science is alarming. It certainly sounds a warning for the outcome arising from NZ's own Royal Commission
NZ politicians also need to insist upon biotechnology policies that make scientific and common sense
and that are genuinely in the public interest and not dictates imposed by radical single-issue environmentalists.
Reversion to the methods and practices of pre 1930's pastoral farming is certainly not in the interest
of producers or consumers.
Artificially induced angst, promoted by supposedly rational citizens, intrudes on our lives.It is
only a year since the urban doom merchants dined out with stories of disaster induced by computer
failure from the millennium bug. That same manipulative, emotional and irrational technique resides
in the biotechnology argument.
Science, research and judgment are a paramount requirement for useful biotechnological development.
Good farming needs these processes to continue to ensure farming continues its predominant role in
successfully feeding the world.