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Government plan to clean waters will ‘help’ Kiwi farmers

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Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+


New Zealand's beef and lamb farmers want to minimise their impact on fresh water
New Zealand's beef and lamb farmers want to minimise their impact on fresh water

Red meat farmers will benefit from a multi-million dollar New Zealand government drive to improve fresh water quality, according to Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ). 

The government’s Environment Minister Nick Smith announced NZ$44 million would be available to support projects that aim to improve water quality. And the New Zealand levy board has secured NZ$260,000 in government funding over three years to help farmers monitor water quality and work on plans to reduce livestock farming’s impact on fresh water.

This government funding is timely and will help us better support farmers to deliver on their water quality ambitions,” said B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor.

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 fresh water improvement fund will enable more work to be completed and on a greater scale,” he added.

Environmental goals for livestock producers

B+LNZ has spent two years responding to farmer demand for greater support for environmental projects and found that farmers were sometimes unsure of how to start or prioritise such projects. This created “a barrier” to action being took, McIvor said.

Additionally, B+LNZ is in the process of reviewing and updating its long-term environmental vision.

We are talking with farmers about sector and on-farm environment goals,” McIvor said.

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 fresh water 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.

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