Enhancing Ellesmere

Ellesmere Sustainable Agriculture Inc has secured extended funding across two and a half  years from MPI’s Integrated Farm Planning Accelerator Fund for the ‘Enhancing Ellesmere – Integrated Farm Planning’ Project.

What is Integrated Farm Planning?

Integrated Farm Planning (IFP) provides a framework of modules that brings together all aspects of a farm business into a whole-farm approach. The approach builds on the work that has already been started through the various regional councils and industry schemes. IFPs will be modular to allow elements to be added over time to ensure they are adaptive, responsive, progressive and specific to each farm.  We aim to use NZFAP Plus as a template and help all engaged participants become accredited.

Goals of the Project

To build farmers’ confidence and capability to adapt and plan for the multiple changes and challenges they are facing, through an Integrated Farm Planning approach.

ESAI’s new project hopes to facilitate a supportive community of farmers who help and encourage each other whilst providing access to experts to help them where needed.

Farmer Planning Workshop

Why is integrated farm planning important and how will it benefit farmers?

Integrated Farm Planning helps manage different aspects of your farm business and provides assurance of good practice to consumers and helps safeguard your social licence to farm.

Successful modern farming needs to preserve and enhance the health of the land, the water and our communities.

IFP is not a regulatory tool, it takes a whole farm approach to planning; it builds on the farm environment planning work already started by many farmers across our region.

It is hoped that Integrated Farm Plans will reduce farmers’ workload in the long run by providing evidence and documentation to meet the multiple audits required by councils and industry.

The IFP process will help farmers to recognise aspects of their farming business that may need further attention.

ESAI is committed to helping its members and other farmers through this process, providing ongoing support and advice where needed.

Restoration Projects 2024-2025

Funding from Selwyn Waihora Zone Committee to facilitate further restoration projects on farms.

ESAI recently concluded its three year Jobs for Nature Project, generously funded by MPI. Consequently, the restoration planting initiatives led by ESAI ceased, despite further restoration possibilities and a keen interest from numerous farmers.

The ESAI Committee and Project team are delighted to have obtained funding from the Selwyn Waihora Water Zone Committee to continue and expand upon the efforts made by our dedicated farmers and contractors within the Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora catchment area. Several farming members within ESAI are eager for help and support in establishing restoration projects on their farms, situated alongside crucial lowland streams, water bodies, and wetlands.

The funding from the Zone Committee will be instrumental in financing project management, communication and engagement, assessment, prioritisation, planning, reporting and overall coordination.

The restoration project aims to identify and facilitate 10 further planting projects across members’ farms over the next two to three planting seasons to be completed by June 2025.

The aim of our restoration project is to protect and enhance remaining remnants of native biodiversity within the Ellesmere area and to improve water quality in our lowland waterways that feed into Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and Muriwai/Coopers Lagoon.

Funding will be used to finance a coordinator who will engage with interested farmers, Te Taumutu Rūnanga, local schools, Te Ara Kākāriki and local community to help plan restoration projects on farms and public land along waterways. Coordinators will work to source funding for plants, planting and maintenance.

It is hoped that the continued restoration work in the area will help to improve biodiversity, mahinga kai and habitat for native species and over time enhance the health of freshwater ecosystems within the Ellesmere area.

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