Monday, July 15, 2024

Budget backs grass roots support for farmers

Budget 2022 is backing new integrated advisory services for farmers, foresters, and growers, supporting innovation and strengthening the animal welfare system to the tune of $190 million, Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor said today.

“Budget 2022 demonstrates the Government’s commitment to our food and fibre sector and reaffirms that we see it as the bedrock of our future economic security,” the Minister said.

“The $190 million of funding announced today will help them adapt practices and drive value growth as they respond to changing international markets.” 

Mr O’Connor said consumers across the world were demanding higher requirements in areas like sustainability and animal welfare practices.

New Zealand’s food and fibre sector products are known for their quality the world over, but we must continue to adapt, he said.  

More than $118 million over four years will go towards boosting advisory services for farmers, foresters, growers and whenua Māori owners. 

“Many of our farmers and growers are already undertaking positive practices, like wetland restoration, setback fencing from waterways, riparian planting and low-till cultivation.”

“People on the land need confidence they can access excellent information and sound advice that complements existing industry efforts. The vast majority acknowledge it’s a changing world and are adapting. What is important is that all farmers and growers are supported in their business decisions as they necessarily focus on sustainability.”

Forestry Minister, Stuart Nash said a $40 million investment over four years would also accelerate transformation in the forestry, fisheries, food and beverage, and wood processing sectors. 

“Industry Transformation Plans are being developed in partnership with industry and Māori to identify high-impact actions that strengthen the performance of our primary sector,” the Minister said.

“Our primary sector is leading New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19, guided by the Government and sector 10-year roadmap Fit for a Better World, and the Budget will help those efforts.”

Associate Agriculture Minister, Meka Whaitiri said Māori agribusinesses were continuing to diversify and grow and it was important to provide on-the-ground support to them.  

“We need to focus on solutions that encompass Māori tikanga but also offer opportunities to lift sustainability and productivity for our people,” she said. 

“Through Budget 2022, we are also committing almost $32 million over four years to protect New Zealand’s animal health and welfare system and reputation. This includes increasing compliance and enforcement, for example, through more on-farm inspectors and providing more help on the ground when responding to adverse events.”

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