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Government Supports Organic Farming

Extra funding to boost organic farming opportunties has been allocated in this year's Budget, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said.

Mr Sutton said that $100,0001 had been allocated to enable the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to set up and run a set of national minimum standards for organic farming.

Another $150,000 had been allocated to continuing a small growers' organic development programme to assist people towards certification as organic producers. This funding continues the work the Soil and Health Association has been carrying under contract to MAF.

Mr Sutton said the organic sector was a rapidly-growing part of agriculture in New Zealand.

"The Government is supportive of organic agriculture. It adds a diversity to our exports and provides choice for our consumers. The development of a national standard for organics is an important step for the industry. It will bring consistency across the country and will give certainty to consumers, who have demonstrated they support organic produce."

Mr Sutton said Parliament's primary production select committee had recently completed a review of organic agriculture, and had highlighted opportunities for future growth.

"This extra funding will go some way towards that potential."

Ends

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