Women will play a significant role in how New Zealanders farm for the future, and new Government funding will help them pave the way, Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri has announced.
The Government has committed $473,261 over two years through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund to enable and empower women working in the dairy sector, the Minister said on Friday.
“Supporting these women to reach their farming leadership potential will deliver long lasting economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits to New Zealand,” she said.
“This programme aims to create more value, develop new practices and support our extremely capable rural women into the future, it will also ensure diversity in the primary sector leadership of Aotearoa NZ which I welcome.”
The funding will support the Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) to lead the Farming for the Future Leader’s Programme, which will pilot a programme of wrap-around services for women. For example, it will develop training content and a central knowledge hub, and provide coaching to support female business group leaders in the dairy sector.
The programme will support DWN members to innovate and implement solutions to problems shared by their farm businesses. They will be able to share their knowledge with their wider communities and with DWN’s 11,000 members.
“The members of the programme will create a positive impact that is far reaching, by providing channels to share solutions and innovations with their businesses, partners, farm teams, neighbours and communities,” the Minister said.
“The Government is committed to working with regional communities to help them reach their economic and social potential.
“These strong social connections and access to tools and support from this programme will help build resilience, both for these women and for their farming businesses,” she said.