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The agricultural landscape in Scotland and New Zealand

Farming and agriculture are two important indicators of the health of a domestic economy.



Today, we take a quick look at how Scotland and New Zealand’s rural landscapes compare with one another.


In terms of general agricultural figures, Scotland has seen a slight drop in poultry while other industries such as cattle, sheep and pigs have levelled off. We must consider that Scotland is a relatively small economy when compared to other nations within the European Union.

New Zealand has fared well from a general agricultural perspective; particularly in the areas of beef and dairy products. However, the aforementioned focus upon spending cuts have slightly curtailed overall production capacity. Having said this, New Zealand still accounts for no less than 2.2 per cent of the global production of dairy milk.


Scotland has seen a slight downturn in regard to TIFF (Total Income From Farming). Aggregate revenues had fallen by no less than six per cent between 2014 and 2015 (inflation is taken into account here) while 2016 estimates highlight a dip of an additional percentage point. Dropping subsidies can likewise be paired to these observations and many experts believe that such figures directly correlate with the euro-pound exchange rate.

In the same respect, New Zealand has suffered since the global financial crisis of 2007. This is largely due to cuts in public spending. Although these actions served to keep the debt-to-GDP ratio at amenable levels, they equally impacted domestic production; particularly within the farming sector. There are nonetheless several other factors which have influenced this trend. A growing number of migrants have affected wages while a vulnerability to higher dairy prices has caused some firms to cut back on production levels.

Forestry and Fishing

The figures associated with Scotland’s farming and agriculture somewhat reflect those associated with forestry and fishing. For example, the amount of timber harvested decreased by eight per cent between 2014 and 2015. However, this observation may be offset by the fact that an estimated 10.3 million cubic meters of softwood timber (per year) will be available until at least 2050. Scotland does indeed stand out in terms of its sustainable fisheries which are expected to remain productive well into the foreseeable future. To put this into perspective 2014 figures estimate the total value of Scottish fisheries to represent approximately £744 million pounds. A considerable portion of this is derived from the nationwide production of salmon.

It should come as no great surprise that a focus upon infrastructure and industry has negatively impacted the forestry and fishing sectors within New Zealand. However, industries such as forestry represent a relatively small percentage of GDP and employs a mere 20,000 workers. In terms of fishing, New Zealand boasts numerous fishing grounds and currently provides well over 440,000 tonnes to the global markets. Over 90 percent of the current aggregate volume represents exported products. This continues to be a very strong industry within New Zealand and it is predicted that future growth is inevitable.

Jobs in agriculture, fishing and forestry are declining in Scotland, especially in urban cities such as Aberdeen. However, the industry is growing in parts of New Zealand, where 108 new dairy workers are needed every year and will carry on like this until 2031. A ploy to get young people into agricultural related industries is to improve the technology for them.



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