[27 July/ Stuff]

Wairarapa farmers affected by the two-year pea growing ban are struggling to survive while they wait for Government compensation. The region-wide ban was enacted in July 2016 after the toxic pea weevil was discovered on farms in the region. Farmers were told they could receive ex gratia payments for any losses. Farmers had moved to other crops however losses had been considerable. The Government’s inaction has caused significant farmer agitation and disappointment, and some farmers have seen profits decrease by $1000 to $2000 per hectare. The Ministry for Primary Industries has established a compensation team to process biosecurity claims but said the processing time would vary depending on each case. MPI is confident that the ban will eradicate the pea weevil, and a meeting is being held in Masterton on August 3 to inform farmers about the claims process and timelines.