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Irrigation funding to help boost New Zealand exports

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Staff writer ▼ | May 20, 2014
Further funding for agricultural irrigation could help open up 420,000 hectares in arable land and boost New Zealand exports by around 4 billion NZ dollars ($3.47 billion) a year by 2026, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.
New Zealand agriculture
New Zealand agricultureFurther funding for agricultural irrigation could help open up 420,000 hectares in arable land and boost New Zealand exports by around 4 billion NZ dollars ($3.47 billion) a year by 2026, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.


Responding to the government's annual budget, Mr. Guy said the 40 million NZ dollars ($34.7 million) in new funding for irrigation projects would deliver economic and environmental benefits. "This will help unlock the potential that water storage and irrigation can deliver, giving a real boost to jobs and exports in regional economies."

The extra funding was in addition to 80 million NZ dollars ($69.45 million) allocated in last year's budget. "Irrigation often has real environmental benefits, with more consistent river flows in summer and reduced pressure on ground water sources," said Mr. Guy. "Only 2 percent of rainfall in New Zealand is captured and used for irrigation. Clearly we need to do a better job of using this precious resource."


 

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