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Pre-Budget Announcement Applauded

9 May 2005

PR 062/05

Pre-Budget Announcement Applauded

The government's pre-budget announcement on the future of the Sustainable Farming Fund is to be applauded, said John Aspinall, a National Board member of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

The government outlined today its intention to make the Sustainable Farming Fund a core output of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's budget, and in doing so secure its future. The fund is set to receive $8.4 million in the 2006-07 and 2007-2008 financial years, and $9.4 million in the 2008-09 financial year.

"The Sustainable Farming Fund is a valuable source of funding that is earmarked for integrating pure agricultural research into practical on farm use, and that 'lay groups' such as Federated Farmers of New Zealand can now approach with confidence," said Mr Aspinall.

"Our members have embraced the fund and the government should be congratulated for recognising the importance of the social, economic, and environmental viability of rural communities that this fund provides for.

"It is the catalyst for a real drive for change within the rural community and is a prime of example of how regulation and legislation are not always the answer. The government should be doing everything possible to support and facilitate positive proactive change," Mr Aspinall said.

"The Sustainable Farming Fund allows farmers to access and implement sound practical research and information. New Zealand agriculture will only remain competitive if its 80,000 producers are able to respond to market signals by making informed decisions and having access to the best tools that science can offer," he said.

ENDS

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