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Timely Agreement on Water Quality For Farmers Vital

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


The fertiliser industry sees challenging times ahead as the country grapples with achieving agricultural economic growth while managing the country’s fresh water resources.

In the July issue of Fertiliser Matters, Fert Research Technical Director, Dr Philip Mladenov, says this “isn’t surprising given the diversity of interests involved in managing fresh water, and the urgency with which we must address issues around allocation and quality.

He says that finding mutually acceptable answers is imperative given that “agriculture is the driving force of the New Zealand economy, and there will be 2 billion more mouths to feed on the planet by 2050.

If agriculture is to continue to contribute to the country’s economic growth, and to meeting the world demand for more food, as a country we need to be more efficient in the way we use water, and significantly increase our uptake of existing and new technologies to improve nutrient use efficiency on farms.

He sees the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) for managing fresh water as a “practical and necessary” first “high level” step, and one which needs to be followed up quickly with complementary measures that give regional councils the technical tools and procedural processes to arrive at agreed water quality limits and targets.

While he accepts that it will take time to develop these tools, he says it is “unacceptable” if “progressive implementation” allowed for under the NPS sees us waiting until 2030 to have its policies meaningfully implemented.

He says Fert Research will advocate for a more-timely implementation of the NPS.

In collaboration with others, it will also seek to develop self-management options by which farmers can meet the requirements that will be placed on them.

For further information please contact, Philip Mladenov, Fert Research 04 473 6552

Released on behalf of Fert Research by Network PR, Dennis Lynch 09 306 5809 or mobile 021 963 733.

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