Irrigation investment a lifeline for provinces says Federated Farmers
Source: Federated Farmers
Federated Farmers says further Government investment for irrigation projects is a powerful stimulant for re-energising
provincial New Zealand.
Managing dry spells and their intensity is challenging the rural sector and communities to build greater resilience to
protect their livelihoods.
Today, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced an injection of $90 million dollars through its Crown Irrigation
Investments into existing regional schemes.
"This is great news for rural communities and will provide access to significant social and economic benefits. It also
emphasises the Government’s commitment to water storage, which is a lifeline for those connected and working in our
primary sector, "says Chris Allen Federated Farmers’ Environment Spokesperson.
The investment will allow communities to optimise the management of current and future irrigation projects ensuring
better use of resources with less wastage.
"It will provide greater assurances all round and ultimately takes pressure off water resources when they are scarce
especially during droughts and dry spells.
"Precise agriculture is increasingly being adopted by irrigators, which allows for the exact measurement of crop and
pasture needs, where water and nutrient can be accurately applied to meet plant requirements," says Chris.
Another aspect of well-designed irrigation schemes is the potential it has to provide significant environmental
"For example, the combination of smart technology with more sophisticated water scheduling ensures nutrients do not
leave the root zone of plants, greatly reducing and potentially eliminating nutrient loss to the environment," says
Of the new funding, $26.7 million over the next three years provides matched grant funding to regional scale irrigation
schemes, helping them progress through the phases of development to reach construction.
While $63 million of new capital funding will support investment in the construction of regional irrigation
infrastructure. Both initiatives are administered by Crown Irrigations Investment Limited (CIIL).
"Smart irrigation schemes are rapidly becoming the lifeblood of our rural communities. Individual family farms can
combine their economic resources and grow strong rural communities because of this, while providing for positive
environmental outcomes and, the production of high quality food," says Chris.