OANZ's Organic Advisory Programme - a three year project which was agreed between the Green Party and the previous government, and administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry - came to an end on 30 June.
Dr Jon Tanner, OANZ Chief Executive Officer, said that the Organic Advisory Programme had been successful in encouraging farmers into organics, with two thirds of those receiving a Smart Start consultation now in conversion.
Dr Tanner says the Organic Advisory Programme also made nearly $880,000 available to thirty smaller regional, sector and other projects, enabling small organic groups to identify and provide their own extension activities.
"OANZ would like to see the knowledge network established through the Organic Advisory Programme maintained", Dr Tanner said. "Without coordination of this network, stronger groups may continue with the backing of their industry bodies, but others won't fare so well".
As an interim measure, organic extension is available through some producer groups, with access to information available through OANZ's 0800 FUTURE information line and website.
Source: OANZ July 2009 newsletter