Thursday, 18 June 2020 11:16

Govt increases drought support

Written by  Staff Reporters
Damien O'Connor. Damien O'Connor.

The Government is pumping an extra $3 million into the Drought Recovery Advice Fund, previously worth just $500,000.

The fund, now totalling $3.5 million, will be allocated to those who already applied before it was closed on Friday 12th of June.

Around 1000 people applied, and successful applicants will be notified by 30 June 2020.

“There was an overwhelming response from farmers when we launched the Drought Recovery Advice Fund so we’ve put more money in to help meet the need,” says Damien O’Connor, who announced the funding today.

“This extra funding means we’re able to provide critical support to far more farmers and growers with quality professional advice to help them recover from this drought, and better prepare their farm businesses for any similar events in future. 

O’Connor says the advice will also help farmers to develop the mandatory freshwater modules of their farm environment plans.

“These modules are a key aspect from the Action for Healthy Waterways - our extensive reform package announced earlier this month to make sure we have clean water to drink and irrigation to support a sustainable economy.

"Farmers and growers have shown that they are able to roll with the punches and most have been well-prepared for these types of events, but as the months go by without significant rain in many parts of the country, there is a cumulative impact. 

O’Connor says the fund will provide relief across all of the North Island, the Chatham Islands, Christchurch, Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman, Selwyn, Kaikoura, and Waimakariri districts and regions.

“The Government knows our farmers, growers and producers will play a critical role in New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19, so helping reduce pressure on farmers and their families, plan for the future, and drive regional recovery efforts is a priority for us”

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