New Zealand gets 28 new Sustainable Farming Fund projects

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today announced an investment of around $7.15 million in 28 new Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) projects.

The SFF supports community-led projects that build productivity and resilience in the primary industries. Projects are led by farmers, growers and foresters who come together to tackle shared problems or develop new opportunities.

“Every year we receive a very high calibre of project applications, which touch on a number of New Zealand’s primary sectors such as dairy, horticulture, honey and forestry,” says MPI director-general Martyn Dunne.

“SFF projects trial and apply new practices to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to local communities and New Zealand.”

More than 1,000 projects have received investment from the SFF over the 17 years of the fund, which represents an investment of around $135 million.

“Through the SFF, we are able to support industries and communities to help each other to carry out applied research, field trials and demonstrations plus extension activities,” says Mr Dunne.

“SFF projects are also required to share the information they develop with their local communities to ensure wider benefits, uptake and adoption.”

MPI is also trialling a new pilot approach to support SFF projects less than $100,000 and shorter in length than existing projects. It’s called SFF Tere.

Four of the 28 approved SFF projects announced today are SFF Tere projects, representing an investment of around $271,000.

‘Tere’ means ‘to be quick, swift or fast’.

MPI is also streamlining the application process for SFF Tere projects. This aims to make it quicker and easier for people to apply for investment and speed up the decision-making process, while meeting the current application criteria for economic, social and environmental sustainability outcomes. If successful, SFF Tere could be rolled out as a permanent initiative in the future.

“While SFF Tere projects are small in value and length, they can still make a very worthwhile contribution to both our rural communities and the primary industries as a whole,” says Mr Dunne.

Twenty-four projects from the main SFF funding round are due to commence from 1 July 2018, and the 4 SFF Tere projects are due to start early in the New Year.

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