Climate change Minister James Shaw, questioned in Parliament yesterday, said he stood by his statement during an interview on Q+A last month that when it comes to the application of GE technology in New Zealand, he”will be led by the science on it.”
But Federated Farmers is disappointed that Mr Shaw proceeded to disagree with the former Prime Minister’s chief scientist, Sir Peter Gluckman, who said “I’ll go as far as to say that I cannot see a way that agriculture in New Zealand will be sustainable over the long run in the face of environmental change and consumer preferences without using gene editing.”
Nor did Mr Shaw agree with Sir Peter when he said “There is no way that we will get a reduction in methane production, and I can see no way that we will see an economic advantage for farmers as we shift to more plant-based foods, without using gene editing.” Continue reading
As an organisation that consistently calls for science and ground-truthed research to underpin policy and regulations, Federated Farmers says it has no problem with the government investing $249 million in the 2018 round of the Endeavour Fund.
“It’s a lot of money but it should be viewed as an investment in our future,” Feds science and innovation spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.
“The nation has some big challenges ahead, including improving resilience to climate change, protecting biodiversity and maintaining economic performance.”
The Endeavour Fund is New Zealand’s largest research and science contestable fund and the 69 multi-year projects approved should deliver real gains in knowledge and future opportunities, Hoggard says.
He notes that at least 19 of the projects directly relate to agriculture and food production.
In particular, Federated Farmers is pleased to see an $11.4m NIWA project to advance the carbon inventory locked up in forest, grassland and urban environments, and $7.7m to a Lincoln Agritech-led team which will seek better understanding of the pathways by which nitrogen travels from land to waterways. This is a project which the Feds have identified as a priority.
Massey University will get $11.2m for its project Milks Mean More: Unlocking the potential of New Zealand’s ruminant milks, and NIWA will use $8m to explore new technologies to double the effectiveness of on-farm diffuse pollution mitigation.
New Zealand farmers pride themselves on being world leaders in both production and sustainability, Hoggard says.
They need the best science and research data available to step up our game even more.
Source: Federated Farmers
Radio New Zealand’s Nine To Noon programme today included an item on the Government’s climate change committee, “expected to do the hard yards for the Climate Change Commission to be set up next year…”
The commission – which in turn will make recommendations to the Government – will be chaired by David Prentice, who was most recently the CEO of the infrastructure firm Opus International Consultants.
Federated Farmers has expressed support for the committee’s membership but says there are huge challenges bringing farming into the Emissions Trading Scheme.
You can hear Kathryn Ryan speaking with the feds’ climate change spokesperson Andrew Hoggard HERE (duration 15′ 44″)
Source: Radio New Zealand