The payback for food production, export earnings and the environment from turbo-charging a fund for farming technology and practice will be many times the investment, Federated Farmers says.
Today’s announcement from the Government that it will lift investment in the Sustainable Farming Fund from $7 million to $20 million, working with the sector, is a far more effective and useful approach than the tax and punish policies of some other parties, Federated Farmers science spokesperson Guy Wigley said.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced a cross-sector panel will oversee what will be renamed The Future Farming Fund, driving advances in farming technology and practices while further reducing farming’s environmental footprint.
Since its launch 17 years ago, the Sustainable Farming Fund and leveraged sector support has made possible more than 1000 projects to lift the performance and sustainability of primary producers.
"This kind of research is what keeps us at the forefront of farming technology and ensures we remain among the most efficient producers of food on the planet," Mr Guy said.
Just one of the ongoing projects - a smart irrigation study in Canterbury - involves Federated Farmers as a lead organisation. It’s about quantifying the relationship between irrigation over time, the accumulation of soil carbon and changes in soil water holding capacity, with spin-offs for knowledge on groundwater recharge and nutrient leaching.
"The project is typical of environmental gains we can make when we improve our knowledge of technology and natural systems," Mr Guy said.