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Sustainable Farming Fund Open To Aquaculture

by the Fish Site Editor
19 August 2011, at 1:00am

NEW ZEALAND - A government fund that supports community-led growth and innovation in the rural sector has been widened to include aquaculture.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestrys Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) will now consider applications for projects that support economic and environmental performance in the marine and land-based aquaculture sector.

The SFF already invests up to nine million NZ dollars a year in projects led by farmers, growers and foresters, often with technical support from industry groups and research organisations, says Agriculture Minister, David Carter.

The fund has assisted around 800 projects over the years, from avocados to wine and everything in between, so it makes sense to expand it to include a growing aquaculture industry.

Minister of fisheries and aquaculture, Phil Heatley says the aquaculture sector is currently worth more than NZ$350 million a year and it has not previously had access to funding for community-led projects.

Legislative changes just passed in the House aim to see aquaculture grow to a more than one billion NZ dollar industry by 2025. I am sure the industry will welcome access to the SFF during what will be a critical growth period.

The Sustainable Farming Fund is currently open for applications, taking proposals for grants over NZ$25,000 until 26 September and grants under NZ$25,000 until February next year.

the Fish Site Editor