NZ: Psa-striken kiwifruit farmers could get new cash aid

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NZ: Psa-striken kiwifruit farmers could get new cash aid

Around 100 of New Zealand's kiwifruit growers most affected by the Psa-V virus look set to receive new financial assistance, website reported.

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) chief executive Mike Chapman, said he was "thrilled" to be working with the Ministry of Primary Industries to establish the details of what is available to growers.

"We have been working towards gaining assistance to those growers worst affected by Psa since September last year," he was quoted as saying.

"These are the growers who need help to put food on their tables and who are facing at least another two tough years before their orchards return to production.

Primary Industries minister David Carter, announced farmers and growers affected by a biosecurity incursions may be eligible for recovery assistance under a new Biosecurity Recovery Framework.

The new framework will sit alongside existing support measures provided to farmers and growers affected by significant climatic events, such as droughts and floods.

Chapman hopes the assistance will help growers continue orcharding, so their skills and knowledge can be retained in the industry.

The worst affected growers are mainly in the Te Puke area of the Bay of Plenty.

This assistance would be in line with existing rural-assistance packages - essentially making social welfare help available to farmers or orchardists without them having to sell off key assets.

Carter said the government was monitoring the effects of Psa and at some stage may decide the new biosecurity recovery measures should apply to it.

"Assistance available will depend on the extent and severity of a biosecurity incursion," he was quoted as saying on Radio New Zealand.

Regional rural support trusts would also help farming families cope with some of the emotional issues that could arise during a biosecurity incursion.

Related story: NZ: 'stormy' growers meeting confronts kiwifruit disease issues

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