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Title: Land development by Government 1945-69
Author: Plunkett, H. J.
Date: 1971
Publisher: Lincoln College. Agricultural Economics Research Unit.
Series/Report no.: Technical paper (Lincoln College (University of Canterbury). Agricultural Economics Research Unit) ; no. 14
Item Type: Monograph
Abstract: From the earliest European settlement in New Zealand the wealth of the country has depended heavily upon agriculture. With a lack of useful mineral resources, small population, isolation from markets, moist temperate climate and relative abundance of land, the country's comparative advantage in international trade has centred on the production of bulky, low cost agricultural products. That this is still true is illustrated by the National Development Conference's Targets Committee projecting that over 50 per cent of the increased exports necessary for the country's continued economic growth is to come from agriculture; the sector already providing over 75 per cent of the country's exports. Although the major proportion of these exports is to come from the intensification of existing farms, a considerable increment of output will be contributed by the Government continuing its current level of operations in developing farms from existing agriculturally unproductive land. It is not the aim of this study to see whether or not the Government should extend or contract these activities. The aim of the study is rather to review past operations in this field to establish a sound base for an intelligent analysis of this particular activity of Government in New Zealand. In this study an attempt was made to ascertain the costs and profitability of creating new farms from New Zealand's agriculturally unproductive land. This form of land development is considered as an alternative to land development on existing farms as a means of increasing agricultural production. In this research project the author has analysed all the completed long-term agricultural development projects undertaken by the Lands and Survey Department since the war and assessed their profitability in terms of present values and the internal rate of return.
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