The sector is estimated to have contributed $348 million in regional GDP in 2011, with a direct contribution of $268 million and an indirect contribution of $80 million.
GDP estimates suggest agriculture accounts for 25 percent of Manawatū District GDP and 1.5 percent of Palmerston North City GDP.
Palmerston North mayor Jono Naylor says while directly contributing to 1.5 percent of Palmerston North's GDP the sector is very important to the city as indirectly underpins most of the city's economy.
• Manufacturing in the city has a strong agricultural focus, processing agricultural products or supplying products for the sector (such as farm machinery, pipes and tanks).
• Logistics - employment in the sector includes wholesaling and transport of agricultural products.
• Retailing - the city services a wide rural catchment, attracting a significant number of visitors each year.
• Business services, insurance and finance - there is again a wide rural catchment for many of these services.
• Research organisations - employment in research and development in the region was estimated to be 2,360 jobs in 2008, with a strong focus on agricultural research.
• Education - Massey University is respected not only for its land-based science teaching and research, but also for the range of qualifications it offers across areas including food science, business, humanities and social sciences, engineering, education and technology. The campus is home to New Zealand's only veterinary science programme.
Mayor Naylor says improving terms of trade for agriculture have brought clear benefits for the city and have been an important contributor to its stronger economic and population growth over the last ten years.
The sector profile was launched at gathering of agricultural sector representatives in the Palmerston North Convention Centre.
Economic policy advisor Peter Crawford says the economic profile recognises the environmental challenges facing the sector alongside the significant economic benefits the sector brings to the city and region as a whole. "It is a very useful addition to the set of economic profiles for the region which includes: Defence, Logistics, Manufacturing, Tourism, Research, Not for Profit and Government - you can find out more about these by visiting /about/economy/sector-profiles/.