Community Irrigation Schemes get $562,000 boost

20/05/2009

North Otago Irrigation Company has been granted up to $241,500 over four years from MAF’s Community Irrigation Fund.

It will be used to help the development of the second stage in its scheme which pumps water from the Waitaki River.

The first stage brought water to about 8,000 hectares in the Waiareka Valley. The second stage will provide water for another 12,000 hectares and extend the scheme to the Kakanui Valley and Tokarahi district.

MAF has provided $562,000 over four years for five irrigation projects as part of the Community Irrigation Fund (CIF), Deputy – Director-General Paul Stocks announced today.

“The CIF helps rural communities make use of their water resources and adapt to climate change by helping community water irrigation schemes get off the ground.”

  “When people think of irrigation and water infrastructure, they usually think of building dams, aquaducts and pipelines. What is often not considered is the enormously important work in planning and community and stakeholder consultation that has to happen before the earthmovers arrive.”

The taxpayer should not be expected to help with on-farm work for irrigation but the wider economic, environmental and social benefits from irrigation justify assistance in the planning stage.

The other four projects to receive funding are inTasman, North Canterbury, South Canterbury and Central Otago.

The ODT reports  these are the Lees Valley storege dam, the Hurunui Water Project, and the Waihao Downs and Lindis irrigation schemes.


More for ag research & greater scope for irrigation fund

03/03/2009

Agriculture Minister David Carter says he’ll get more funding for agricultural research than the Fast Forward Fund which was scrapped.

And while there will be a delay as a new funding structure is established, he says what the Government will put in place will ultimately deliver funds faster than the FFF would have. . .

. . . It’s not about removing money from research and development, it’s about developing a transparent process for distributing that money.’

Carter has also expanded the scope of the Community Irrigation Fund to allow local government agencies to apply for grants.

It’s not just what is being done but that fact that the government is demonstrating by actions rather than rhetoric the importance it places on both agricultural innovation and irrigation which heartens me.

The former Minsiter of Agriculture spent a considerable time recently telling Jamie McKay on the Farming Show how good he’d been but when the North Otago Irrigation Company was planning a $60 million scheme to bring water from the Waitaki River to the Waiareka Valley he didn’t come up with a cent.


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