Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says the $500,000 will help farmers and growers prepare their businesses to recover from drought as the economy gets moving again.
It will provide advisory services that usually cost $5000 to equip rural businesses with professional and technical advice to help them recover from and better prepare for
“The fund will address the longer-term issues but there are also ongoing, acute issues that need to be addressed with urgency.
“Access to feed is the biggest acute issue so two feed co-ordinators are in place as of today, one in the North Island and another in the South to make sure available feed gets from where it is to where it’s most needed.
“So far this year the Government has invested $17 million to help drought-stricken regions recover from what many are saying is the worst drought in living memory. It has affected all of the North Island and a good portion of the South.
O’Connor says recent rain is a start but it will take steady rain at the right time to get grass growing again.
“The flow-on effects of water shortages and low feed availability take a long time to fully recover from and some farmers will be dealing with the effects of this drought for a year or more.
“We know that with climate change we can expect more acute weather events so it’s important we help farmers and growers get their businesses ready for future drought.
“Key to recovery is making good decisions based on sound advice. The purpose of this new fund is to ensure our farmers and growers can tap into this advice.
“The primary sector has shown time and again it has the strength, resilience and ability to recover from tough times and come back stronger than ever. I have every faith that with this support they’ll get through this too.”