Globalisation, Agriculture and Development

Globalisation, Agriculture and Development

Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific

Edited by Matthew Tonts and M. A.B. Siddique

This book explores the links between globalization, agriculture and development in a number of contemporary Asia-Pacific nations. It highlights the complex and diversified nature of agricultural change in these contexts, and the ways in which this shapes patterns of economic and social development. Globalisation, Agriculture and Development shows that while agriculture continues to play an important role in local, regional and national development, both the industry and the communities it supports are facing an increasing number of economic, social and environmental challenges.

Chapter 4: Globalisation, Agriculture and Development: New Zealand’s Path to Prosperity?

Kenneth E. Jackson

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, development studies, agricultural economics, asian development, development economics, economics and finance, agricultural economics, development economics, environment, agricultural economics


Kenneth E. Jackson INTRODUCTION Agriculture has always been seen by many as the key feature of the New Zealand economy, and sometimes as the key to the essential nature and being of the society. To the degree that overemphasis of agriculture’s importance has been evident, it has been more due to the desire to portray New Zealand as a settler society, based on an agricultural and rural dominance, than to any social reality. The picture is, of course, more complex, with relatively sparse settlement and extensive farming systems characteristic of most rural areas, and a general disconnect between these landscapes and wider urban and national economic realities. It is true that underlying dictates of comparative advantage appear to have favoured primary production for much of New Zealand’s development, with attempts at protection and diversification into manufacturing and import substitution being as fashionable (and as unsuccessful) as they generally proved to be elsewhere. By the 1980s a return to open market dominance had occurred, accompanied by a rise in indicators such as the share of export income generated by the primary sector, and movements within the primary sector towards products offering a higher rate of return. Amongst the significant outcomes of this process were that the wool sector moved downwards in relative importance, whilst the dairy sector moved very strongly upwards. Much of the relative movement reflects a growing interaction with the global market and a shift towards high technology, as well as a concern for the quality and assurance of...

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