Call for action over shortage of workers in rural sector

A Mackenzie Basin farmer wants more to be done about a worker shortage in the sector.

Paddy Boyd, who manages Haldon Station, told RadioLIVE's Rural Exchange that employee numbers have been in decline for years, and such a labour shortage needs to be addressed.

He said employee numbers started to decline five or six years ago.

"I think it goes right back to the education stage," Mr Boyd said.

"Five or six years ago, many workers were discouraged from entering the primary sector because they thought there was no future in agriculture."

He believes there is a huge future for the rural sector, but the right message just needs to get out there.

"Let people know, explain to them, show them that there is an opportunity out there."

Mr Boyd believes industry groups are "absolutely not" doing enough to help with the shortage either.

A shortage of workers in the rural sector is also being felt in the booming cherry industry in Central Otago.

The issue was highlighted in a recent report on labour issues facing the region's horticulture and viticulture sectors.

Watch the full interview with Paddy Boyd above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter's Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.