Planning for New Zealand’s irrigation infrastructure has stepped up the pace with the Irrigation Acceleration Fund now open for business.
The Irrigation Acceleration Fund was announced in this year’s Budget and provides $35 million over five years to support the development of proposals to the ‘investment ready’ prospectus stage.
Smart irrigation infrastructure development will boost economic development and contribute to the sustainable growth of our primary sectors.
NZIER research suggests the fund could support 340,000ha of new irrigation, which could boost exports by $1.4 billion a year by 2018, rising to $4 billion a year by 2026.
All successful projects will need to be committed to good industry practice that promotes efficient water use and environmental management, particularly around land-use intensification. Irrigation good practice is essential if we are to protect our vital water resource for tomorrow.
The fund will support regional scale rural water infrastructure proposals that address:
- regional rural water infrastructure
- community irrigation schemes
- strategic water management studies.
The Government will contribute up to 50 per cent through the fund to successful proposals. Applications will be assessed by MAF, with input from a panel of independent experts. The final decision will be made by the Director General of MAF.
Thanks to Jo Goodhew National MP for Rangitata for this panui