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Government’s irrigation promises offer hope to farmers

5 April 2013

Government’s irrigation promises offer hope to farmers

The comments from Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy re-confirming the government’s commitment to supporting large scale irrigation projects are exactly what drought-stricken farmers needed to hear, Federated Farmers national president Bruce Wills says.

“It is great to see Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy publically reiterating the Government’s commitment to investing up to $400 million to encourage third-party capital investment in regional water storage projects to better insure farmers against droughts such as the one currently ravaging the North Island,” Wills says.

“We need these schemes because no matter how many on-farm water dams farmers build, they will never have enough capacity to see us through droughts like this one.

“It is not just farmers who will feel the effects of the prolonged dry season. The entire New Zealand economy is set to take a $2 billion hit, which will affect everyone, from all walks of life, everywhere in the country.

“Minister Guy has hit the nail on the head when he says improved water storage capacity would be good for the economy and the environment.

“Imagine the good which could be done if, through the better water allocation which water storage projects would allow, we could boost exports by $4 billion a year by 2026.

“More wealth coming into this country means more jobs and higher wages for all New Zealanders and farmers who are doing well financially have more money available to spend on environmental protection.

“Federated Farmers is delighted with these continued signals that the Government continues to see this issue as a matter of national importance,” Wills concluded.

ENDS

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