“I looked at those results and I thought ‘Hallelujah’ – because of what I’m seeing across red meat, across seafood, across forestry,” Bagrie told a recent DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum.
The income side of the ledger needed to hold up through this period of uncertainty but there were long-term opportunities. Emerging economies such as India and China would evolve and shift up the income scale, and the proportion of their GDP that goes to consumption would “absolutely rocket up”.
Agriculture sector debt, especially dairy, was a point of vulnerability and still needed to come down.
Although very concerned about the global economy, Bagrie said dairy was moving into a period of comparative advantage.
“New Zealand’s in a real healthy space. We’re heading into this period with a breeze at our back.
“I’m not sure New Zealand’s gonna be okay this time around, but I think our one is gonna be relatively light compared to what I’m seeing elsewhere around the globe.
“In the long term, agriculture looks good, but no illusions there’s gonna be some short-term challenges.”