7 Aug 2012

Fund trialled for projects on Maori-owned farms

7:00 am on 7 August 2012

The Ministry for Primary Industries is trialling a special fund for small-to-medium-scale innovation projects on Maori-owned farms.

The ministry, which operates a sustainable farming fund open to all farmers, has for the first time set aside $1 million for co-investing with Maori farmers.

Its deputy director for Maori primary-sector partnerships, Ben Dalton, says the ministry has no expectations as to the interest Maori agribusinesses will have in bidding for a slice of the fund.

He says the aim is to find out if there is any interest by Maori farmers in projects that result in the sustainable use of resources.

Mr Dalton says from his experience Maori communities often learn best by looking over the neighbour's fence.

Applications for the fund close at the end of August.