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$2.1 million boost for Māori in the Primary Industries

$2.1 million boost for Māori in the Primary Industries
14 April 2014

Five projects worth over 2.1 million will add further value to increasing the productivity of Māori primary sector assets.

The Māori agribusiness projects have been approved by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), from a total of 31 approved projects this year.

“MPI is dedicated to partnering with Māori to increase the value of their primary sector assets. The flow on affects of this will contribute directly into New Zealand’s regional economies,” says Deputy Director-General Ben Dalton.

“The five projects address a range of issues in Māori agribusiness from horticulture to improving farming practices and land restoration.

“The Tuhono Whenua project aims to lift the productivity and profitability of collectively owned Māori kiwifruit orchards in the Bay of Plenty, Northland and Gisborne.

“Using a customised orchard advisory approach, returns will be increased by more than $10,000 per hectare. Over the targeted 200 hectares, this will conservatively increase orchard returns by more than $2,000,000 annually.

“The integrated management project will scale up to 15 farms in the North Island with an estimated area of 30,000 hectares providing a significant lift in sustainable productivity and profitability.

“A project in the Waikura Valley will look at the critical environmental risks associated with large scale active gully erosion, trialling new methods to stabilise the severely damaged area.

“This project will provide a platform for Waikura valley land-owners to participate in the development of a land management plan, recognising Māori as kaitiaki of the land that is important to future generations,” says Mr Dalton.

The Māori agribusiness projects which have been accepted into the SFF are:
• Māori Incorporations/Trusts: conducting business in your sector
• Integrated management to improve productivity and profitability for Māori agribusiness
• Tuhono Whenua kiwifruit orchard productivity – Bay of Plenty, Northland, Gisborne
• Waikura Valley land restoration project – East Coast
• Farming with the environment for customers
“Māori continue to play an increasingly significant role in New Zealand’s primary industry sector, as key partners in much of the country’s natural resources,” says Mr Dalton.

The five Māori agribusiness projects are worth over 2.1 million, with 49% provided by the project and 51% funded through SFF.

Media contact: Krissy Moreau, Communications Adviser, 021 224 5369

Notes to editors

In total, the 31 projects are worth 18.6 million with 47% provided by the project and 53% funded through the SFF. The SFF has now received $122.8 million in Government funding across 906 projects.

The SFF was established in 2000 and has an annual appropriation of $8 million available on a contestable basis. SFF funding for each project is complemented by at least 20% cash and/or in-kind support by industry, community groups and individuals.

Applications for the 2014/15 SFF round closed 18 November 2013, with 84 applications being received. Applicants requested a total of $21.4m (GST exclusive) over three years. This compares with 78 applications requesting $15.1m in the previous 2013/14 funding round.

An independent assessment panel consisting of experienced practitioners and technical experts across the primary sector recommend applications for funding to the Deputy-Director General, Resource Management Programmes.

The 31 approved projects are from the following sectors:
• Dairy (9 projects valued at $2.852m)
• Sheep and beef (6 projects valued at $2.306m)
• Arable (6 projects valued at $1.593m)
• Horticulture (2 projects valued at $0.971m)
• Forestry (1 project valued at $0.023m)
• Apiary (2 projects valued at $0.936m)
• Aquaculture (2 projects valued at $0.530m)
• Viticulture (1 project valued at $0.287m)
• Other (2 projects valued at $0.379m) 1
[1] These other projects consisted of one deer project and one land management project.

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