When it comes to “good news”, Damien O’Connor is a dab hand at milking the Sustainable Food and Fibres Future Fund

Buzz from the Beehive

Our Foreign Affairs Minister has announced the relationship between New Zealand and Malaysia is to be elevated to the status of a Strategic Partnership, the Minister of Conservation is clucking about the growth in kākāpō numbers in the 2022 breeding season,  the Covid Response Minister has declared that New Zealand will remain at the Orange traffic light setting…

And the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund again is proving to be a great “good news” headline generator for Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

It’s good news, too, for the beneficiaries of the several million dollars served from the fund, according to ministerial announcements in the financial year that began on June 1:

The Government is investing $4 million over four years from the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund  to expand a biosecurity readiness and response app developed by Onside Ltd.

Onside’s is contributing $6 million

Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri said the government has committed $473,261 over two years through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund to enable and empower women working in the dairy sector

The Government is backing ‘Scale Up’, a new five-year partnership programme with Spring Sheep Milk Co. designed to take the dairy sheep industry from the piloting phase through to an established primary industry, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

The investment in ‘Scale Up’ follows a successful six-year pilot programme and complements the recently announced Government funding of $700,000 for the Māori Agribusiness Sheep Milk Collective to support Māori landowners explore the potential of the sheep milk industry in the central North Island.

The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund will contribute $7.97 million to the $19.94 million programme led by Spring Sheep Co.

The Government is investing to create new product categories and new international markets for our strong wool and is calling on Kiwi businesses and consumers to get behind the environmentally friendly fibre, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said today.

Wool Impact is a collaboration between the Government and sheep sector partners under the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund to grow export revenues for wool.  The $11.4 million, three-year programme sees sector partners are contributing $6.9 million on top of the Government’s $4.5 million investment.

Wool Impact’s sector partners are  WoolWorks, the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ), and meat companies AFFCO, ANZCO, Alliance, Progressive Meats, and Silver Fern Farms.

The Government has committed $7.3 million over seven years to the $22 million N-Vision NZ programme through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund.

Ravensdown is leading the programme, and will contribute $11 million cash, with Lincoln University and Plant & Food Research providing research expertise. Ravensdown and Lincoln University will contribute in-kind funding to the value of $3.8 million.

The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming practices.

The Government is investing $8 million towards the $11.58 million programme through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund.

And so, on to today’s dip into the fund …

More young minds eyeing food and fibre careers is the aim of new Government support for agricultural and horticultural science teachers in secondary schools, Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.

This is an educational programme with Ministry for Primary Industries funding (although not an unduly generous provision).

The Government is committing $1.6 million over five years to the initiative through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund

New Zealand’s food and fibre sector provides jobs for more than 367,000 people.

“Our food and fibre sector is nothing if we don’t have good people,” O’Connor said

“We’re backing the development of a nationwide advisory team to provide support to agricultural and horticultural science teachers, create resources, and provide important links to local food and fibre sector partners.”

The funding will provide for one full-time adviser and a support person based at St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton, and up to 16 part-time regionally based advisers.

Hmm.  Do you get the idea the money is being spread somewhat thinly?

This suspicion was reinforced when O’Connor went on to say:

“There are 126 schools across the country teaching agricultural and horticultural science and we’re aiming to increase this number, especially in urban areas.”

The government expects the support network will be a huge help to teachers who usually have sole charge of their subject and often have to take care of farmlets or orchards as part of their role, O’Connor said. ”

The nationwide advisory team will survey the professional development needs of agricultural and horticultural science teachers annually.

“They’ll provide workshops to build professional practice, tailored mentoring and support for individual teachers where required, and develop and distribute teaching resources,” Damien O’Connor said.

“They’ll also provide assistance to enhance student achievement, and help raise the profile and public perception of agricultural and horticultural science.”

He said he’d like to see this approach continuing beyond the life of the five-year project.  This (we imagine) may happen at a time when either he has retired from politics or is sitting in Opposition.

“One of the goals of this project is for the model to be self-sustaining so it continues to support teachers and their students long into the future,” Damien O’Connor said.

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Boost for agricultural and horticultural science in schools

More young minds eyeing food and fibre careers is the aim of new Government support for agricultural and horticultural science teachers in secondary schools.

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One thought on “When it comes to “good news”, Damien O’Connor is a dab hand at milking the Sustainable Food and Fibres Future Fund

  1. Oh and by the way, Government debt has just ticked over $137B, growing at $86M per day.
    But who’s counting, eh. Certainly not the MSM or the Govt it seems. I’m sure we will someday reach a stage where income will exceed expenditure.

    Like

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