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Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production

food and fibre production

Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand and adapt to the effects of climate change in New Zealand.

“This Government has a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs,” Damien O’Connor said.

“Our recently announced Fit for a Better World plan is a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value for a sector vital to New Zealand’s economic recovery. Sustainability is key to achieving this.

“Overseas consumers increasingly want greater assurances that the food and fibre they buy is produced in a sustainable way – and they’ll pay a premium for it. Our farmers and growers get that and many have done a huge amount of work to improve their practices over the last 20 years.

“The primary sector have told us there are three priority areas where they need more knowledge and tools, so the projects we’re funding have been targeted towards those areas: freshwater mitigation, climate adaptation, and climate change extension.

“One of the projects looks at measuring the amount of run-off from six different farm environments to test the effectiveness of removing contaminants using constructed wetlands.

“Another one focuses on undertaking spatial, flood risk and economic modelling to assess the impact of floods on production, land-use change, and economic and environmental outcomes.

“Another project will deliver climate change seminars for rural professionals and boost their capability to deliver more seminars around the country.

“Our farmers and growers play a vital role in New Zealand’s rural communities and economy and will do for the foreseeable future. These projects will help further bolster our green reputation in a global pandemic environment to ensure New Zealand builds back better, together.”

Source: NZ Government

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