IrrigationNZ believes that strategic water storage in key regions could aid a post-Covid recovery which focuses on protecting jobs, creating new ones, achieving positive environmental outcomes, and contributing to climate change targets.
“But Budget 2020 has missed the opportunity for water storage to be part of the solution,” says IrrigationNZ chief executive Elizabeth Soal.
“IrrigationNZ understands the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19 but believes that strategic management of this essential resource remains important, and that a water strategy to guide spending would be beneficial,’’ Ms Soal says.
“We will continue to talk to the Government about how this can be done utilising the $20 billion unallocated funding, and the $3.2 billion infrastructure contingency fund.” . .
Workers not leaving quarters a problem – Sally Rae:
Farm workers refusing to leave their accommodation are causing headaches for farmers preparing for the start of the new dairy season.
A large number of dairy farming families, sharemilkers, contract milkers and employees move to new farms to begin new employment and milking contracts on June 1, known as Moving Day.
But Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker said changes to tenancy law passed through the Covid-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Amendment Act, which placed general restrictions on all landlords, had left some farmers without employee accommodation.
Mr Walker had been contacted by more than 10 farmers with issues about former employees not moving out of the accommodation provided for working on the farm. . .
Some of New Zealand’s leading women in agriculture have launched “Together we Grow NZ”, a new initiative with a goal to connect urban and rural communities.
“Together We Grow NZ” will showcase the importance of both communities working together by sharing stories, collaborating, and creating opportunities to highlight New Zealand’s farming background to the next generation.
The project was created by 15 women, who met while completing the Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s leadership and governance programme “Escalator”.
The group continued working together during the Covid-19 lockdown and saw an opportunity to bring to light some of the stories of Kiwi food producers. . .
Groups set up to help the helpers – Annette Scott:
A red meat industry initiative to upskill rural professionals is focused on building capability to help enable a sustainable future for farming.
Launched in Canterbury as part of the Red Meat Profit Partnership Action Network Group, the initiative is bringing together small groups of rural professionals to work towards a shared focus and goals.
The group of 12 rural professionals has joined forces to develop their skills in helping farmers make positive changes.
RMPP group facilitator Richard Brown said the action group model lets young professionals achieve their goals as facilitators and experts. . .
Fonterra has asked its shareholders and sharemilkers to help determine the future of its 25-strong shareholders’ council, seven months after initiating a review of the council’s relevance and cost.
The dairy co-operative billed an initial farmer survey as the first stage of consultation to review the council’s role and functions and acknowledged that came only after criticism of the council’s performance by some farmers.
The functions of the council, set up to act as a farmer-run watchdog for the co-operative, have not been amended since it was founded in 2001. . .
Helius Therapeutics has confirmed it’s the recipient of a substantial grant for its New Zealand-based cultivation, plant breeding and medicines research programme.
The $2.4 million research and development project has been approved for co-funding of up to 28% by New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation. Supporting innovative and high-performing R&D businesses, the agency has committed to contributing up to nearly $600,000 (excluding GST) to Kiwi-owned Helius Therapeutics over the next three years.
Chief Science Officer at Helius, Dr Jim Polston, says Callaghan Innovation’s co-funding will help Helius advance unique cannabis genetics and develop safe, consistent, and high-quality, novel cannabis medications for clinical trials. . .