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Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is encouraging all farmers and growers affected by flooding in Canterbury to apply for support from a new $4 million fund.

Applications will open this week for the expanded Canterbury Flood Recovery Fund, which was set up to support the region’s recovery from a one in 200-year rainfall event.

“This financial support will help flood-affected farmers and growers across Canterbury to get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” says MPI’s deputy director-general of Agriculture and Investment Services Karen Adair.

“The clean-up task ahead of primary producers is massive and some are facing significant costs not covered by insurance.”

Almost 100 of the worst-affected farmers have already been offered grants from the initial $350,000 fund established shortly after the flood last month.

“Should those farmers require extra support, they are encouraged to submit a new application to this larger fund,” says Ms Adair.

“We have been working with Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Deer Industry New Zealand and councils, to determine how this financial support can have the greatest impact.”

Grants will assist farmers to clear flood debris, enabling pasture and fodder crops to be resown.

“Our highest priority is the clean-up of debris such as shingle, boulders, trees and silt, to return paddocks to a productive state,” says Ms Adair.

“Applications can be made retrospectively for clean-up work already undertaken. The size and allocation of grants will be determined once all the applications have been received.

Grant applications will be assessed by an independent panel, made up of people who sector groups have helped to select.

“The panel will consist of people with a strong understanding of farming businesses and rural communities in Canterbury,” says Ms Adair.

“They will confirm that grants meet the eligibility criteria and that the allocation process is fair, consistent, and transparent. MPI will contribute up to half of the clean-up cost for uninsurable works.”

Applications for the fund will open on 9 July 2021 and close on 30 July 2021.

A full list of criteria, an application form and details of how to apply

The panel’s members are still being confirmed.