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Second round of Sustainable Farming Fund

The second round of applications for grants from the Sustainable Farming Fund has had a huge response, Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said 264 grants had been received, requesting funding of almost $39 million for projects that would enhance rural communities' social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

"There is a real demand in rural New Zealand for a fund such as this. There is a lot of innovation and creativity in rural communities, and I'm delighted that this Government is able to help our rural communities to make their lot better."

Mr Sutton said a smaller number of applications was received in this round, compared to the first application round, but the quality of applications was higher.

"People have had more time to consider their community's needs and aspirations and to work on their applications."

Applications are currently being assessed, and officials would contact applicants after April 26 to develop projects further.

The 26 projects funded under the first round of the Sustainable Farming Fund are making progress, Mr Sutton said.

As part of the contract with successful applicants, project teams have to supply quarterly reports, which are assessed against agreed milestones. Funding for the next quarter is contingent on those milestones being met.

ENDS


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