Comparing apples with oranges using new Sustainable Farming Fund tool

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Media contact: Mavis Mullins, Project Manager

Māori agribusiness will benefit from a new tool that can be used to compare the potential benefits of different land uses from an economic and social perspective.

The Social Return on Investment evaluation tool was developed as part of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI’s) Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) Māori Agribusiness round held in 2012. It was co-developed by Aohanga Incorporation and AgResearch and aimed to produce a method to compare various development options for Māori Trusts and Incorporations with multiple shareholders.

“With multiple shareholders, it can be difficult to achieve consensus on the best options for Māori owned land,” says MPI’s Deputy Director General Ben Dalton.

“This tool will integrate social, environmental and cultural values into the decision making process, enabling better governance decisions, transparency and a well-defined communication framework for shareholders.

“Another benefit of this one year SFF Māori Agribusiness project is that the model is flexible, as all data can be modified to compare other options not presently built in,” says Mr Dalton.

“This SFF project has been a first step in an attempt to tackle the hard task of getting a common measure, where we can hand on heart say these sometimes competing imperatives have been quantified and assessed and the analysis has informed our decision to act,” says Project Manager Mavis Mullins.

“Sometimes it can feel like comparing apples, oranges, kiwifruit and grapes. They are all good individually, but this tool means we can now measure and compare the investment value for each of these.

“It was great to have MPI and AgResearch attend our AGM out at the station, which we consider to be quite remote. It was particularly warming to have our Mexican whanaunga from AgResearch noho with us and to have that global indigenous engagement,” says Mrs Mullins.

Applications for the 2015 Sustainable Farming Fund close on 10 October 2014.

For more information on Evaluation options for sustainable growth - Social return on investment for Maori Agribusiness visit:
http://www.mpi.govt.nz/environment-natural-resources/funding-programmes/sustainable-farming-fund/sff-maori-agribusiness-projects-2012

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