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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Some Convincing Figures

Some Convincing Figures.

A reference to official returns will amply confirm this statement, as the following figures, taken from an official return for the year ending March 31, 1912, will show:—

The value of our exports of "principal products" for that period was £17,604,870 The proportion of this total output derived from our agricultural, pastoral and other products of the soil (excluding timber, gold, kauri gum and frozen rabbits) was £14,942,543, which shows, as I have said, that more than 80 per cent of the value of our total principal products exported is derived from the products of industries connected with the occupation and cultivation of the land.

Under these circumstances it seems strange that there should be hesitation on the part of any Government in power with regard to asking for liberal votes from Parliament for the furtherance of agricultural education and experiment, by which we may add to our knowledge of the special means where-by, under local conditions of soil and climate, we may materially increase the national wealth by a more perfect development of our extraordinary cultural resources. If the average yearly profits from farming and pastoral pursuits were increased by so small an amount as 5s per acre over our present occupied area it would mean an addition to our national income of something like nine and a half millions sterling. There is little doubt that this could easily be accomplished, as the result of improved cultural methods and the adoption of a more intensive system of land culture where conditions were suitable.