Thursday, 14 March 2024 13:42

Medium-scale adverse event declared in dry upper SI

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says parts of Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelseon districts are in the grips of an intense dry spell. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says parts of Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelseon districts are in the grips of an intense dry spell.

An intense dry spell gripping upper South Island districts - Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson - have been declared as a medium-scale adverse event by the Government.

The declaration gives growers and farmers in the three districts access to more assistance from the Rural Support Trust.

Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says parts of Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are in the grip of an intense dry spell.

“I know this has made day-to-day conditions on the ground extremely tough for farmers and growers,” McClay says.

“The Top of the South Drought Committee met yesterday to discuss the situation.

“After receiving an urgent update from Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff on the ground in the area this morning, I have made the decision to classify drought conditions in Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts as a medium-scale adverse event.

“It is clear conditions are tough. This decision will unlock further support for farmers and growers, including tax support.”

Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson visited the Marlborough area last week to see conditions first-hand.

Patterson says the classification is on top of funding of up to $20,000 they made available to the Top of the South Rural Support Trust last month to provide extra support.

“The proactive step ensured early support is available for farmers, growers, and rural communities.”

MPI has been working collaboratively with central agencies, sector groups, regional bodies, and farmers and growers across the country to prepare for El Niño since its arrival last year.

Forecasters predict the dry weather will linger into the autumn, says McClay.

“I know farmers and growers in other parts of the country are also experiencing dry conditions and we’re keeping a close eye on the situation in those regions.”

Farmers and growers who require support are encouraged to contact their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.

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