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Regional Initiatives funding for organics

12 July 2002 Media Statement

Regional Initiatives funding for organics in Tairawhiti

The Tairawhiti region is to receive $40,000 to assist with developing the region's growing organics industry, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton, announced today.

"The Tairawhiti regional strategic plan has already identified organics as a potential growth area.

"This funding will serve as a catalyst to build on the work already being done regionally and to improve co-ordination across the industry in Tairawhiti. It will also help Tairawhiti to capitalise on the strong national and international demand for organics,” said Jim Anderton.

As at December last year, there were 37 BioGro certified primary producers and 12 certified processors/suppliers in the Gisborne District. The project will contribute towards improving these numbers and strengthening existing operations.

Work carried out by Industry New Zealand over the past six months has identified enthusiasm in Tairawhiti to further develop organic production, but a number of issues are currently impeding this development.

“The links between growers, researchers and processors and the transfer of research findings from researchers to growers need to be improved. There is also a lack of information available to Maori landowners about the potential of organics to improve the value of production from their land", said Jim Anderton.

The funding (GST inclusive) is to be provided from the Ministry of Economic Development's Regional Initiatives Fund. It will be used to:
- develop a communication plan and network to ensure relevant, up-to-date information on organics is distributed to growers and processors;
- investigate research and development opportunities that exist for organics in Tairawhiti, including model farms and work with Lincoln University; and
- build on work done by the Tairawhiti Development Taskforce on the development of Maori owned land and on putting forward organics as an option for adding value to Maori land.

The project will be managed by Industry New Zealand's Central Region Office, working with a local governance group, which will include representatives from local growers, Gisborne and East Coast iwi, the Wairoa community, central government, Lincoln University and the Maori Trust Office.

Note to Editors:

The Regional Initiatives Fund was established as part of the 2001 Budget Economic Development Package.

Funding is available for regional development projects which are consistent with the Government’s key goals and which have the potential to leverage economic growth as well as meet government objectives for economic, social and environmental development.

The fund is aimed at assisting regions to develop capability and to respond to opportunities. Eligible projects must show broad support within the region. Funding is available as a contribution towards the project’s costs and is assessed on a case by case basis.

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