The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today announced funding of $9.8 million for 31 new Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) projects.
The SFF provides funding for projects led by farmers, growers, and foresters aimed at building economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the primary sector. It has recently been replaced by MPI's new Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) programme. The 31 projects were in the pipeline prior to the launch of SFF Futures in October 2018.
"SFF has been instrumental in kicking off both small and large innovative, community-led projects, and laying the groundwork for SFF Futures," says Steve Penno, director of investment programmes.
"The new 31 projects cover areas from apiculture and dairy to soil management and horticulture and are great examples of innovative thinking.
"These projects look at tackling problems or advancing opportunities for the community. They'll contribute towards growing our regional economies, protecting our environment, and providing social benefits for New Zealand.
"They range from a project aimed at building our apiculture industry's capacity by training people on tree species that support bee populations, to one that's about improving water quality through the use of plantain pastures to reduce nitrogen leaching.
"Another project is looking to understand fish behaviour at pump stations and how to reduce the threat the stations have on native fish, while another involving 5 properties in the Central Hawke's Bay, will assess the opportunity for growing kiwifruit in the region.
"These 31 new projects, along with future SFF Futures projects, will help New Zealand continue to prosper."
Future applications for new projects will be considered under SFF Futures.
Twenty-four of the 31 new projects were funded through the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) as part of the 2018 funding round and 7 were through Sustainable Farming Fund Tere (SFF Tere), a smaller funding programme for projects needing funding of up to $100,000. This was the last funding round held and approved under these funds.
Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) has replaced the Sustainable Farming Fund and the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP).
SFF Futures provides a single gateway for farmers, growers and organisations to seek investment in projects that prioritise product value over volume, encourage greater collaboration and information sharing, and deliver economic, environmental, and social benefits that flow through to all New Zealanders.
Projects could be about developing new products or services, or ideas for creating new jobs, increasing skills and capability or encouraging better collaboration and information sharing. They can range from small, one-off initiatives requiring a small grant, to long-running, multi-million-dollar partnerships. SFF Futures supports projects from all over New Zealand, created by businesses, non-government organisations, researchers, training institutions, Māori landowners, community groups, and industry bodies