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Second round of farming fund applications open

Second round of farming fund applications open

Applications for the second round of grants from the Sustainable Farm Fund are now open, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

The fund aims to help rural communities in the sustainable use of land-based resources. It provides a percentage of costs for projects that bring together communities to address problems, enable access to information, technology, and tools, and to improve the community economic base.

The total amount provided per project per year is up to $200,000. Projects can be of up to three years duration.

The closing date for applications is 15 March 2001.

Mr Sutton said funding in this round was for projects that were ready to go from July this year.

"There is no lower limit. Smaller projects with costs under $10,000 are now included. Also, water management issues previously funded from other sources will now be eliglible for Sustainable Farming Fund grants."

The fund was launched in September last year, and received more than 350 applications in the first round. Mr Sutton said the large number and wide variety of applications showed the extent of activity among rural groups and communities for innovative, practical, and problem-solving proposals.

"Applicants who were unsuccessful in that round are invited to re-apply in this second round."

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which administers the fund, said it was important that applicants described not only the opportunity or problem their projects encompassed, but also what the project would do to take advantage of the opportunity or solve the problem.

More than $4 million was committed in the first round. About twice that will be available for the second round.

Application forms are available from The Sustainable Farming Fund, c/o P O Box 2526, Wellington / 0800 100 087 / sffund@maf.govt.nz

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