Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Let’s protect our valuable soils, Horticulture New Zealand

Let’s protect our valuable soils, Horticulture New Zealand

The need to protect New Zealand’s best soils for growing healthy fresh fruit and vegetables is clear in the Our land 2018 report released today, says Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman.

"This report highlights the expansion in urban areas (a 10 percent increase between 1996 and 2012) and the accompanying loss of some of our most versatile land.

"We have been talking to Government about this issue in Pukekohe, near Auckland, as well as other prime growing areas for fruit and vegetables. Some of this soil is unique, particularly the volcanic soils around Pukekohe where vegetables can be grown all year in a frost free environment. This area feeds a lot of New Zealand.

"We believe the valuable growing soils - which are often termed elite soils - should be protected by central Government policy. We can’t afford to keep losing these soils if we want to continue feeding New Zealand their favourite fruits and vegetables.

"We couldn’t agree more with this statement in the report: ‘Land is fundamental to human life, and central to the environmental system we depend on. The decisions we make and the actions we take affect not just the land, but also water, oceans, air and atmosphere, and the life they support.’

"Many horticulture businesses are run by inter-generational families who are natural custodians of the land. They have a vested interest in ensuring they have a business to pass on to their children and grandchildren, just as it was handed on to them.

"We acknowledge that the report cites some instances where horticulture is outside the soil quality indicators they used, but would also like to point out a lot of work is underway to mitigate soil erosion and run off.

"Many growers spend large sums of money on long-term riparian planting plans to protect waterways on their properties and enhance the environment.

"There is also a Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) project underway called Don’t Muddy the Water, focused on keeping soil on the land where it belongs and out of the waterways. Started three years ago, this project quantifies the relative effectiveness of the best management practices for reducing sediment and phosphorus loss.

"Results so far have shown the effectiveness of silt traps that capture sediment so it cannot run off the land. Preliminary results also show the cumulative discharge of sediment is lower on cultivated production land protected with silt traps compared to construction sites. The project is ongoing but it will continue to inform best practices.

"We congratulate the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand for their work on this important reporting, and look forward to working with the Government to ensure we don’t lose more valuable growing land and that we improve environmental outcomes within horticulture.

"Government has indicated they want to work with us on this so that we can all be proud of the best environmental outcomes that underpin New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of some of the best food in the world."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Ground Rules: Government Moves To Protect Best Growing Land

“Continuing to grow food in the volumes and quality we have come to expect depends on the availability of land and the quality of the soil. Once productive land is built on, we can’t use it for food production, which is why we need to act now.” More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society: Calls For Overhaul Of Gene-Technology Regulations

An expert panel considering the implications of new technologies that allow much more controlled and precise ‘editing’ of genes, has concluded it’s time for an overhaul of the regulations and that there’s an urgent need for wide discussion and debate about gene editing... More>>

ALSO:

Retail: Card Spending Dips In July

Seasonally-adjusted electronic card spending dipped in July by 0.1 percent after being flat in June, according to Stats NZ. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent lift, according to the median in a Bloomberg poll. More>>

ALSO:

Product Stewardship: Govt Takes More Action To Reduce Waste

The Government is proposing a new way to deal with environmentally harmful products before they become waste, including plastic packing and bottles, as part of a wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills. More>>

ALSO:

Earnings Update: Fonterra Sees Up To $675m Loss On Writedowns

“While the Co-op’s FY19 underlying earnings range is within the current guidance of 10-15 cents per share, when you take into consideration these likely write-downs, we expect to make a reported loss of $590-675 million this year, which is a 37 to 42 cent loss per share." More>>

ALSO: