Instead, the government shelved the report, and has now unveiled Fast Forward, the latest in its many, shifting, inadequately executed attempts at economic transformation. It is a big slug of money with no under-pinning strategic plan.
Given the primary sector’s lack of strategic vision, there is every danger that users of the Fast Forward fund will keep dragging it back to incremental projects that play to the sector’s historic focus on commodities.
And there are plenty of other risks too, such as a dominance of the government funding by dairying in general and Fonterra specifically, of tensions between competing companies and of political uncertainty.
I’ve also heard from industry sources, that dairy will be a dominant funder, and that there is no way in hell they will be paying for research in non dairy areas, as the Government has been suggesting.