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Payouts made under Agricultural Recovery Programme

Thursday 2 September 2004

First payouts to be made under Agricultural Recovery Programme

The first payments to flood affected farmers in the lower North Island will be made this week to dairy farmers in the Manawatu and Wanganui areas.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s (MAF) Director of Policy Information and Regions, Alan Walker, says the payments are for the repair of tracks and races, pasture re-establishment, fencing and drainage on the properties which were hard-hit by February’s storms.

Significant payments are going to farmers in the Wanganui and Ashurst areas.

Mr Walker says the payouts are not the full amounts claimed by the farmers. “We are still awaiting proof of payment for parts of the claims and some of the work claimed for is ongoing,” he says.

The Government’s Agricultural Recovery Programme, which is administered through MAF, has approved over 200 claims for assistance from farmers in the damaged region. Payments will be made when farmers provide proof of payment.

A further 190 claims are being processed, many of which require further information. The office is in the final stages of checking invoices and receipts for 20 claims, for which proof of payment has been supplied.

“It is a detailed process as all applications have to be thoroughly vetted and proofs of payment checked,” Mr Walker explains.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of farmers getting their claims to us, backed with receipts or other solid proof of payment.”

Mr Walker says that the Palmerston North office is now fully equipped to deal with claims and he urges farmers to put in their claims and proof of payment as soon as possible.

“Our objective is to pay as much money to as many eligible farmers as soon as we can,” he says. If farmers have any questions about their claims they can contact the Agricultural Recovery Programme office on 06 351-7921.

ENDS

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