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Govt makes up to $5k available to help farmers recover from drought

'An exceptional offer'.

Tairawhiti farmers who need professional advice on drought recovery have been encouraged to access the money available through the Government's Drought Recovery Advice Fund.

But they have to get their applications in by June 12.

Agriculture Recovery Facilitator for Tairawhiti, David Scott, said the Government has made up to $5000 available to help farmers recover from the 2020 drought and plan for future droughts.

“It will pay for professional advice to a maximum of $5000 (excluding GST).

“The great thing about this fund for our region is the inclusion of the land in collective Maori title in the eligibility criteria.

“Usually monetary packages such as the Rural Assistance Package exclude Maori land trusts, incorporated blocks and so on, by virtue of the fact that the applicant farmer (or farmer and partner) must be the individual land owner,” Mr Scott said.

The criteria for this fund states,

' The farms must be in a 2020 drought-affected region or district.

' The farming business must have been negatively affected by the 2020 drought.

' At least 50 percent of the farmers' income in a normal year must be earned from the farming business (land in a collective Maori title is excluded from this condition).

Mr Scott said the fund provides a huge range of drought affected businesses with technical advice.

“This advice must be sought from an MPI list of pre-approved suppliers which includes our local AGFirst.

“Those farmers who wish to apply should search in Google — drought-recovery-advice-fund-application-pdf.

“I strongly advise farmers to take advantage of this exceptional offer.”

In particular, it was a wonderful opportunity for the ‘smaller' Maori trust and whanau farming blocks, Mr Scott said.

PROFESSIONAL ADVICE: Farmers affected by the drought around Tairawhiti have been urged to take advantage of the Drought Recovery Advice Fund. On some properties, like this one at Ngatapa (pictured), farmers have had to feed out poplar and willow foliage to their stock as a supplementary feed source. Picture supplied