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West Coast Farmers Urge Government to Fund Varroa PMS

West Coast farmers have joined the call for Government to fund the Varroa Pest Management Strategy.

At their recent Annual General Meeting, West Coast Federated Farmers unanimously passed a remit stating the Varroa Pest Management Strategy (PMS) should be totally funded by Government.

Pastoral farmers are rapidly becoming aware of the long-term implications of Varroa reaching the South Island, says Federated Farmers West Coast President Diane Milne.

“MAF estimates that if Varroa spreads to the South Island it would have an impact of $314 million over 35 years, with 90% of that cost falling on the pastoral sector due to a dramatic reduction in clover pollination.

“It is ridiculous that Government is prepared to bear the cost of eradication if Varroa reaches the South Island but will not fund the Varroa PMS.

“Government cannot afford to ignore this very real risk to the economic wellbeing of the agricultural sector.”

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