New Zealand govt offers another $3m relief for drought-stricken farmers

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In order to help drought-stricken farmers recover from one of the most severe droughts in recent history, the New Zealand government is offering an extra $3 million.

This funding will go into the drought recovery advice fund and help growers get back on their feet, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

Notably, the fund was originally announced in May with a pot of $500,000, and farmers in drought-affected regions could apply for up to $5000 for recovery advisory services.

This announcement brought the total amount of government funding to over $19 million so far that was pledged to help drought-stricken rural communities this year.

“There was an overwhelming response from farmers when we launched the drought recovery advice fund, so we’ve put more money in to help meet the need. The advice would also help farmers to develop the mandatory freshwater modules of their farm environment plans,” O’Connor said.

“These modules are a key aspect from the Action for Healthy Waterways – our extensive reform package announced earlier this month to make sure we have clean water to drink and irrigation to support a sustainable economy,” O’Connor said.

The fund is likely to be utilized for providing relief to several regions, including North Island, Chatham Islands, Marlborough, Tasman, Kaikoura and Waimakariri districts and areas.

The fund, now totalling $3.5m, would be under the management of the Ministry for Primary Industries, as per the latest inputs.

Sources said funds will be allocated to the 1000 individuals who had already applied before its closure on 12th June. Moreover, the successful applicants will be notified by 30th June, 2020.