An evaluation of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) project by independent research business Scarlatti shows the productive benefits of the RMPP programme is delivering a major boost to New Zealand’s red meat sector and set to lift annual total farm profit before tax by a further $96.4m in the next five years.
The benefits are forecast to continue beyond 2025, meaning that for every dollar invested RMPP will return $17 in value.
The $64m RMPP programme brought together farmers, meat processing companies, Beef + Lamb NZ, banks, and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in an innovative collaboration to improve the productivity and profitability of NZ’s sheep and beef sector.
The seven-year programme is scheduled to culminate in March 2021.
RMPP chair Malcolm Bailey says farmers have been saying for some time that the programme has helped them access information and support so they can make more informed decisions for the benefit of their businesses.
Additionally, he says, the independent evaluation clearly demonstrates the range of real and tangible benefits that RMPP has delivered both behind and beyond the farm gate and in rural communities across NZ.
RMPP’s projects, such as the Action Network and the NZ Farm Assurance Programme (FAP), would not have been achieved without RMPP programme investment and coordination.
“Farmers and red meat sector businesses have successfully developed, tested and introduced new ways of engaging with information and technology, he said.
“Farmers are adopting more effective measuring and monitoring to support informed decision-making and are increasingly using digital farm management tools.
“Hundreds of like-minded farmers who are working together alongside trusted experts in facilitated small groups now have the confidence to put their ideas into action.”
The RMPP Action Network has never been about telling farmers what to do.
“It has been about creating an environment where farmers can learn from each other, share what works, embrace change and make better decisions for the future of their business, their family and NZ,” he said.
Key findings of the Scarlatti research revealed farms participating in the RMPP Action Network will, on average, increase profitability by $17,712 per farm, each year.
When averaged across the sector, including farms that gain a spill-over benefit and farmers that do not benefit, the impact of the Action Network is to raise profitability by $46m across the entire sector by 2025.
The impact on profitability for farmers participating in training programmes varies depending on whether they are engaging with an e-learning module or undertaking a multiday training workshop.
The aggregate impact of all training courses is to raise industry profitability by $18.5m across the entire sector.
In 2025, the increase in profitability resulting from RMPP’s investments in talent attraction will be $3.15m across the entire sector.
The Electronic Animal Status Declaration (eASD) technology is saving farmers, livestock representatives and meat processors’ time and reducing costs.
The eASD development is projected to be generating an annual economic benefit of $6.69m across the industry in five years.
The NZ FAP is also forecast to be generating an annual economic benefit of almost $1m across the industry by 2025.
More than 1500 farmer businesses, 90 facilitators and 205 action groups have now joined the RMPP Action Network, which has improved farm productivity and profitability by helping farmers make more informed decisions.
“Members of action groups are working together with other like-minded farmers and rural professionals to identify ways to improve the performance of their farm business,” Bailey said.
“They’re also benefiting from a network of experts who can share new knowledge and ideas.
“Small farmer-led groups supported by facilitators, experts, tools and resources are one of the most effective ways to help farmers make positive changes on-farm and improve their productivity and profitability.”
RMPP has also helped to attract more talented employees in the red meat sector.