Wednesday, 15 September 2021 12:25

Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups passes 150 mark

Written by  Staff Reporters
Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor

Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land management practices has passed a milestone, with more than 170 catchment groups nationwide now receiving support, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

“When it comes to freshwater, we have a job to do as an industry and that’s to restore our rivers within a generation,” O’Connor says.

On 14 September at a meeting with catchment group leaders and farmers, O’Connor announced $2.1 million in funding for 31 farmer-led catchment groups across the Manawatū, Rangitīkei, and Wairarapa which are helping farmers and growers transition to more sustainable land use.

“Nationally, these groups that we are backing provide on-the-ground support to more than 5,000 farmers, helping them access expertise and tools to improve their environmental and economic sustainability, not to mention wellbeing.”

O’Connor says that, over the past 18 months, the Government has invested close to $29 million in catchment groups through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) extension services and Jobs for Nature programmes.

O’Connor says catchment groups support farmers to develop detailed Farm Environment Plans and provide an opportunity to learn good practice from one another.

“Catchment groups working together and farming integrating practical and meaningful insights from them into their farm plans is how we’re going to shift the dial,” O’Connor says.

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