Fund works for farm­ers

Te Puke Times - - Rural News & Views -

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+L NZ) has wel­comed the Gov­ern­ment’s an­nounce­ment of the $238 mil­lion One Bil­lion Trees Fund that will com­ple­ment the work al­ready be­ing done on sheep and beef farms.

B+LNZ CEO Sam Mcivor says the struc­ture of the fund­ing will work well for farm­ers by build­ing on the ef­fi­ciency gains they’ve made over the past 30 years, all while help­ing cre­ate and pre­serve 1.4 mil­lion hectares of na­tive for­est on sheep and beef farms.

“Done in the right way, by fo­cus­ing on hav­ing the right trees in the right place for the right pur­pose, the One Bil­lion Trees Fund rep­re­sents a huge op­por­tu­nity for sheep and beef farm­ers and com­ple­ments many of the ac­tiv­i­ties we’re fo­cused on,” says Mr Mcivor.

“Over the past three decades the sheep and beef sec­tor has made sig­nif­i­cant gains in pro­duc­tiv­ity, for in­stance dou­bling the value of our ex­ports while halv­ing the num­ber of our ewe flock and still ex­port­ing the same quan­tity of sheep­meat.

“At a time when con­sumers are look­ing more in-depth at the story be­hind their food and want to know that it’s been eth­i­cally pro­duced and those who pro­duce it are do­ing so sus­tain­ably, it really is the time for our sheep and beef farm­ers to shine. Since 1990, sheep and beef farm­ers have re­duced their green­house gas emis­sions from live­stock by 30 per cent, there’s 1.4 mil­lion hectares of na­tive for­est on sheep and beef farms, we have a largely pas­ture-based, free range farm­ing sys­tem that’s the envy of the world, and the One Bil­lion Trees Fund gives us the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue to en­hance that im­age.”

With the new fund­ing be­ing tar­geted to sup­port both smaller plant­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and larger projects, the One Bil­lion Tree Fund will en­able farm­ers to un­der­take a range of ac­tiv­i­ties that will ben­e­fit farm­ers and New Zealan­ders.

“As part of our En­vi­ron­ment Strat­egy, we’ve com­mit­ted to be­ing net car­bon neu­tral by 2050, im­prov­ing the qual­ity of fresh­wa­ter so New Zealan­ders can swim in and gather food in the wa­ter sur­round­ing our farms, and for each of our farm­ers to have an tai­lored and ac­tive farm en­vi­ron­ment plan by the end of 2021, so the fund­ing and ap­proach an­nounced to­day will play an im­por­tant part in help­ing our farm­ers achieve these am­bi­tious goals,” says Mr Mcivor.

He also notes that the fund­ing works well with the di­verse range of ac­tiv­i­ties that al­ready take place on sheep and beef farms.

“Our farms are a mo­saic of farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, often with crop­ping, beef cat­tle, sheep, Manuka, hor­ti­cul­ture, and forestry all tak­ing place along­side sig­nif­i­cant tracks of re­gen­er­at­ing na­tive bush. Our vi­sion is that within a farm, our farm­ers match land use with the land’s ca­pa­bil­ity, and this is re­flected by the di­verse range of ac­tiv­i­ties that take place on farm.”

To as­sist farm­ers in mak­ing the most of the One Bil­lion Trees Fund, B+LNZ will be pro­vid­ing ex­ten­sion ac­tiv­i­ties to help farm­ers iden­tify suit­able op­por­tu­ni­ties and un­der­stand how to ap­ply for grant fund­ing.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s CEO Sam Mcivor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.