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Varroa Research Gets SFF Fund Grant

Hon Jim Sutton
Media Statement 1 July 2004

Varroa research gets SFF fund grant

The Sustainable Farming Fund is helping commission significant scientific research and development, Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen told the National Beekeepers' Association meeting in Napier today that the Sustainable Farming Fund has approved the association's application for bee research.

Dr Cullen said this meant that work would go ahead on four components of work: • organic methods of control; • ensuring current methods of control are continued; • scoping potential methods of biocontrol; and • some work on a breeding programme for varroa resistant bees.

"We need to be well equipped in the battle against the varroa mite."

Mr Sutton said this was important research that needed to be done.

"It's perhaps unfortunate that it did not meet the high criteria of public good science funding grants earlier in the piece, but it has in the end received the funding the industry needs for this work to go ahead."

Mr Sutton said the Sustainable Farming Fund was contributing to some excellent projects across New Zealand.

"There have been some excellent work done in the four years the fund has been in existence, and I am delighted by the calibre of projects the fund has seen to fruition. The quality of applications is consistently high, and the fund over-subscribed.

"The fund is another demonstrable commitment by this Government to rural communities."

The Sustainable Farming Fund contributes to community-driven projects that enhance the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of rural communities.

ENDS

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