The additional $3 million for the New Zealand Landcare Trust from the Ministry for Primary Industries is money well spent, Federated Farmers water spokesperson Chris Allen says.
“If you’re looking for ‘bang for buck’ investment with high environmental returns, this is it.”
Catchment groups have proven to be great platforms to address water quality challenges. Farmers involved in these groups have underlined the importance of having a coordination resource, and the Landcare Trust is a prime example of support working in practice.
The new funding will enable the trust to employ a team of regional coordinators to work with the farming community on integrating sustainable land and water management practices into their farming systems.
“This is what has been missing in the past in some districts. Regional coordinators will bring local knowledge and understanding of individual communities. Other farmers without a dedicated catchment programme have been seeking this kind of support,” Allen says.
A farmer-led, catchment-focused approach reflects the need to develop solutions that respond to the specific challenges within each catchment and on each farm.
“In our submission to the freshwater proposals last year, Federated Farmers sought additional funding of $3 to $4 million for Landcare, for these reasons.
“It’s great to see MPI supporting the good work underway at the catchment scale. This is where we’ll get real, lasting improvement in rural water quality.”
Source: Federated Farmers