Fed Farmers for better water storage
Federated Farmers described better water storage as a need of the hour, as it could increase productivity in the country. A report released by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said that drought in 2007-08 has caused an enormous loss of about $2.8 billion to the economy of New Zealand.
Don Nicolson, the president of Federated Farmers, termed the Government's $5.7 million community irrigation fund as too meager to get the desired results. He said that spending more on irrigation may increase productivity and create more jobs, as irrigation can generate about $8 for every dollar invested.
Nicolson added, "The negative impact of drought cost billions but the current response is the Community Irrigation Fund's $5.7 million (excluding GST) in grants over eight years.
It seems ridiculous that when water storage can generate around $8.00 in payback for every dollar invested, it's not being pushed harder to create jobs and wealth."
He warned against another drought, similar to the 2007-08 one, following the advisories of the metrological department regarding the return of El Nino in summers.
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