Monday, July 15, 2024

$26 million recovery grant extension for farmers and growers

The Government today announced a $26 million investment to meet the needs of farmers and growers as they continue their work to re-establish their businesses in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Cyclone Recovery Minister, Grant Robertson said the funding sits alongside the initial $4 million rural community recovery fund already available to sector and regional organisations.

  • $26 million boost to fund that is successfully helping farmers and growers with post-cyclone clean-up – taking total primary sector support to $55 million;
  • 2,846 applications received so far for grants, and already more than $17.4 million paid out to farmers and growers;
  • Up to $10,000 for pastoral and arable farmers/growers and up to $2,000 per hectare (up to a maximum of $40,000) for growers.

Mr Robertson said the funding extended the help available through the $25 million farmer and grower grant package announced in February.

“The uptake of the grants has been strong with the number of applications surpassing 2,846 in less than a fortnight (12 days), and more than $17.4 million paid out,” he said.

“We knew there would be more need during the response phase as people took time to take stock and work through their clean-up from Cyclone Gabrielle.

“As with the response to COVID we need to be nimble, flexible and responsive to immediate needs.

“The Government is committed to helping people and businesses recover from the cyclone in the months ahead. Ministers are working on the next steps of support as the regions move to recover and rebuild from these events.”

Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor said the Government’s priority was helping rural communities to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“Farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners and other rural businesses drive the economies of the regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle,” Mr O’Connor said.

“It’s important they have access to help now to protect future production, for example enabling remediation around tree bases to save vital trees and vines, clearing silt to improve farm access, and making repairs to stock water systems, culverts, and fencing.

“We have been on the ground in the affected regions talking with farmers and growers. They’ve told us the grants are providing certainty of immediate funding, which has given them the confidence and reassurance to start remediating their farms and orchards.”

Applications for the clean-up grants are open until 20 March 2023, but those in hard-to-reach areas can apply up until April 3.

Farmers and growers who have already received MPI clean-up grants are not eligible to apply again.

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