Our rural community need our help as they battle one of the worst droughts in living memory.

A Give a Little page ‘Digging deep for our farmers in drought’ launched today to allow people to support the Hawke’s Bay’s rural community.

The Civil Defence Rural Advisory Group, with the support of the Regional Council, will administer the funds raised.

Rural Advisory Group co-chair Lochie MacGillivray says the Give a Little appeal is a wonderful opportunity for the Hawke’s Bay community to help the farming community.

“We know people from all over Hawke’s Bay want to help, as the media has highlighted the devastation of this drought and its impact on farmers, their families and stock. This appeal will be a great morale boost for the community, as they battle exhaustion and face tough decisions, heading into winter.”

There is a critical and substantial lack of feed, given the prolonged nature of the drought combined with Covid-19 restrictions.

The fund will be used to transport feed to farmers in need. The widespread drought in the North Island has resulted in low feed supplies. Feed is available in the South Island, however, transport costs are prohibitive.

Mr MacGillivray says the region needs the primary sector to recover from the drought in the best possible shape.

“Our farming community play a crucial role in our regional economy, and we need to support their recovery.”

The Rural Advisory Group will work closely with the Regional Council, feed co-ordinators, Beef and Lamb NZ, Ministry for Primary Industries, and East Coast Rural Support Trust, to ensure feed gets to the farms where it is most needed.

The region has experienced monthly rainfall well below normal in the Ruahine Ranges, Heretaunga and Ruataniwha Plains and southern Hawke’s Bay for seven consecutive months, according to the Regional Council’s monitoring systems.

The funds raised will be held in Trust by the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust.

People can donate at: www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/diggingdeep

Drought information: https://www.hbrc.govt.nz/environment/farmers-hub/drought-crisis-hub/

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