The Sustainable Farming Fund, which invests in applied research and projects led by farmers, growers, or foresters, is about to receive a boost in funds to be able to accept more applications.
The Coalition Government, in its Budget 2018, has pledged $15 million of new operating funding during the next four years to the fund to support more inspiring ideas in applied research and extension projects that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits for New Zealand.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Climate Change Minister James Shaw says this year’s Budget is investing in projects to build sustainability, productivity and resilience across the primary sector as the Government works alongside farmers and rural communities to provide leadership on some of NZ’s most pressing issues
“The SFF encourages unique collaborations among farmers and growers, scientists and researchers, iwi, local government and others who are making a real difference for our rural communities and the wider primary industries,” says Damien.
“There has been a massive oversubscription to the fund in recent years, meaning good projects aren’t getting a look-in because the previous Government did not provide enough investment for the fund.
“In the last SFF round, 86 eligible applications were received but only 28 of these could be accepted.”
James says these projects are led by those on the front line “and help us find ways to optimise the use of our natural resources and protect the environment for future generations”.
“We’ve set an ambitious target for NZ to become a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050. A range of forward-looking measures are required to achieve this. Cleaner, smarter farming is central to our plan for sustainable growth,” says James.
“The SFF funding boost builds on work we have already prioritised,” says Damien.
“Last year, I announced the pilot for SFF Tere – which translates to “be quick, swift or fast”. Smaller producers are often key innovators, and four SFF Tere projects are already progressing.
“I’m looking forward to doing more to help our primary sector increase value and resilience, with a head start on ever-changing consumer tastes.”
The move is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement between Labour and the Green Party.
“This Government is committed to partnering with the agricultural sector to achieve shared goals for sustainability, modernisation and profitability,” says James.
“This boost to the SFF injects fresh energy into projects that explore how to farm less intensively and more in tune with the environment, while retaining profitability.”
Find out more at: mpi.govt.nz/SFF.