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North Canterbury Urges Govt to fund Varroa PMS

North Canterbury Urges Government to fund Varroa PMS

The Government must fund the Varroa Pest Management Strategy (PMS) if the South Island is to remain free of the Varroa Bee Mite.

North Canterbury Federated Farmers unanimously supported a remit that Government funds the Varroa PMS at their Annual General Meeting in Christchurch.

"If Varroa were to reach the South Island it would have a devastating effect on all pastoral farmers, says North Canterbury Federated Farmers Chair Pam Richardson.

"MAF estimates that if Varroa spreads to the South Island it would have an impact of $314 million over 35 years, with 90% of that cost falling on the pastoral sector due to a dramatic reduction in clover pollination.

"Ironically Government is prepared to bear the cost of eradication if Varroa does reach the South Island. Surely investment in the Varroa PMS is more strategic than providing an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

"Government cannot afford to ignore this very real risk to the economic wellbeing of the agricultural sector."

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