Dairy Irrigation Subsidies Must Be Ditched to Avert Crisis, Greenpeace Says
Government subsidies for dairy irrigation schemes should be dropped in order to avert a dairy crisis, Greenpeace says today.
The government currently has around $120million of taxpayers’ money sitting in a fund, called Crown Irrigation Investments, which is earmarked for controversial irrigation schemes designed to expand industrial dairy agriculture. But it is this model of agriculture which is failing, Greenpeace says.
The government hopes to increase the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on these schemes to $400million.
Genevieve Toop, Greenpeace’s agriculture campaigner, said:
“Industrial agriculture is failing, right before our eyes. It’s failing for Fonterra. It’s failing for Fonterra’s suppliers. It’s failing for our economy. It’s failing for people who like swimming in clean rivers. But, perhaps most importantly, it’s failing for farmers.
“The government is, right now, sitting on millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, which they want to throw at the industrial farming model which has led to this sorry situation. There’s no way they should be backing these irrigation schemes, which make no sense economically or environmentally.
“Clean, green, organic farming products are much better for our finances, our farmers and our international reputation. It’s this that the government should be backing, not some failed industrial agriculture model which is polluting our rivers and our economy.”