March 09, 2016
Sanctions hurting NZ farmers
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is calling on the government to resume trade with Russia as a way to help dairy farmers.
He says farmers are being denied a chance to improve their returns, which have now dropped to $3.90 a kilo of milk solids.
Prime Minister John Key yesterday said there's no point dropping the sanctions aimed at putting pressure on Russia over the Ukraine situation because Russia had no money to buy anything because of low oil prices.
Mr Peters says that's ridiculous, and Russia is still the world's second largest dairy importer.
"The Ukraine seriously increased their exports to Russia in the last 12 months. And whilst we have gone along with the European sanctions against Russia, the European countries have seriously expanded their exports in the markets where we are. So we have the prime minister, because of his foreign policy on the hoof, not doing what he should do to help the farmers of this country," he says.
Mr Peters says Maori farms make up a significant part of the sector, but there's no way anyone should invest in dairy at current price levels.
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