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Sustainable Farming Fund Project Goes Nation-Wide

An Opotiki Development Board project, funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund, is to go nation-wide, Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton told participants at the launch of the Maori Land Use Options resource kit in Opotiki this morning that the project team had been granted more money to develop their kit for other areas of New Zealand.

The project was funded in the Sustainable Farming Fund's first round of allocations.

Mr Sutton said the project had produced a user-friendly step-by-step guide for anybody who had inherited responsibility for land, but who might not have the training or expertise to know exactly what was best to do about it.

"The kit is about empowering people to help themselves and their community."

The Sustainable Farming Fund, set up last year, allocates money to projects that will improve rural communities' economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Just over $5 million was available for allocation in the first year, and 33 projects involving $4 million were funded.

A second round of projects is being allocated now, and it is expected that about 100 projects will receive about $10 million in assistance.

The next application round will be for projects beginning after July 1 next year. Applications will be called for later this year.

Mr Sutton said close scrutiny was being given to applications to ensure high-quality applications were funded. Project teams must met milestone targets throughout their project lifespan to continue receiving funding.

"The taxpayer will get good returns for this investment."

Office of Hon Jim Sutton

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