Government announces a $90m boost for irrigation

New funding introduced by the government in Budget 2017 will see a $90 million grant in irrigation schemes

Government announces a $90m boost for irrigation
grant funding

The government’s recent announcement of increasing grant funding and capital investment towards irrigation and water infrastructure has been welcomed by the industry.

The new funding will see $26.7 million, which provides matched grant funding to regional scale irrigation schemes, over the next three years. Another $63 million of new capital funding will support investment in the construction of regional irrigation infrastructure.

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says this is a good move towards protecting New Zealand’s water, and an important step on the road towards lasting food security.

"Protecting water, as the government is doing here, is vital to New Zealand’s economic and social well-being, "but so too is protecting high-quality growing land from urban sprawl," Mike says.

"In addition to this welcome funding for water, Horticulture New Zealand is advocating for a Food Security Policy to be developed by the government, protecting the high-quality land used for growing our fresh fruit and vegetables. The rapid expansion of our cities is putting pressure on our top growing areas, particularly in areas such as Pukekohe.

"A true food security policy will do much more than just protect water and land. It will ensure New Zealand can feed itself, keep rural New Zealand thriving, and make New Zealand financially and economically sustainable."

Source: Horticulture NZ 

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