The Government is backing new integrated advisory services for farmers, foresters, and growers, supporting innovation, and strengthening the animal welfare system.
“Budget 2022 demonstrates the Government’s commitment to our food and fibre sector and reaffirms that we see it as the bedrock of our future economic security,” Damien O’Connor said.
“The $190 million of funding announced today will help them adapt practices and drive value growth as they respond to changing international markets.
“Consumers across the world are demanding higher requirements in areas like sustainability and animal welfare practices. New Zealand’s food and fibre sector products are known for their quality the world over, but we must continue to adapt.”
More than $118 million over four years will go towards boosting advisory services for farmers, foresters, growers, and whenua Māori owners.
“Many of our farmers and growers are already undertaking positive practices, like wetland restoration, setback fencing from waterways, riparian planting, and low-till cultivation.
“People on the land need confidence they can access excellent information and sound advice that complements existing industry efforts. The vast majority acknowledge it’s a changing world and are adapting. What is important is that all farmers and growers are supported in their business decisions as they necessarily focus on sustainability,” Damien O’Connor said.
Stuart Nash said a $40 million investment over four years will also accelerate transformation in the forestry, fisheries, food and beverage, and wood processing sectors.
“Industry Transformation Plans are being developed in partnership with industry and Māori to identify high-impact actions that strengthen the performance of our primary sector.
“Our primary sector is leading New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19, guided by the Government and sector 10-year roadmap Fit for a Better World, and the Budget will help those efforts,” Stuart Nash said.
Meka Whaitiri said Māori agribusinesses were continuing to diversify and grow and it was important to provide on-the-ground support to them.
“We need to focus on solutions that encompass Māori tikanga but also offer opportunities to lift sustainability and productivity for our people.
“Through Budget 2022, we are also committing almost $32 million over four years to protect New Zealand’s animal health and welfare system and reputation. This includes increasing compliance and enforcement, for example, through more on-farm inspectors and providing more help on the ground when responding to adverse events,” Meka Whaitiri said.
Damien O’Connor said that including pre-Budget announcements, the Government is investing over $1 billion to help our farmers and growers.
“Today’s announcements follow a pre-Budget announcement of $710 million to tackle agricultural emissions, including through the Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions and accelerating carbon sequestration through forestry.
“$110 million was also announced pre-Budget to boost the biosecurity system and continue the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme,” Damien O’Connor said