21 May 2015

Dairy research plan has funding shortfall

10:18 am on 21 May 2015

Farmers behind a planned dairy research farm in Southland are hoping they will get the green light to proceed, despite coming up well short of their share of the funds.

The Southern Dairy Development Trust planned to raise $2 million from local farmers to go towards the $26 million total cost of the dairy hub.

However, farmers have committed just $1.3 million.

Trust chair, Matthew Richards, said he would present the figures to the proposed hub's potential partners, AgResearch and DairyNZ, before the end of this month.

He said more than 500 farmers wanted the project to go ahead.

"The regional target was $2 million, we didn't get there, but we did get the majority of farmers in support of this.

"So basically farmers are saying we want this hub in our region, so we've got to make sure the numbers do work and make sure that it's a profitable venture, so that's what we're working on at the moment."

He said once those numbers are there the trust can go to Dairy NZ and AgResearch with some confidence of support and could then start looking for a suitable site for the farm.