The Government’s announcement of $44 million to support freshwater improvement projects is welcomed by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ).
B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor says that over the past two years, in particular, the organisation has responded to farmer demand for support in the environment space. “Through this work, we’ve identified that – while farmers want to take action – knowing where to start and what to prioritise can be a barrier.
“This government funding is timely and will help us better support farmers to deliver on their water quality ambitions.”
B+LNZ has secured Ministry for the Environment funding of $260,000 over three years. This will be used to work with farmers in four catchments around the country. Specifically, it will help farmers monitor water quality and develop farm plans that prioritise actions to reduce their farm’s impact on freshwater.
McIvor says B+LNZ is reviewing and updating its environment vision, in response to growing farmer momentum.
“We are talking with farmers about sector and on-farm environment goals. It’s important we build collective ownership of what our environmental challenges are as a sector and the actions farmers can take to address them.
“Farmers are embracing their role in improving freshwater quality. At our environment conference this year, we asked farmers to pin notes on a map to outline all of the farmer-related environmental initiatives they were aware of. By the time that session was over, the map was completely covered.
“We can’t meet the current demand from farmers wanting to crack on and get stuff done on their farms and in their catchments. The injection of funding from the freshwater improvement fund will enable more work to be completed and on a greater scale.”