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NZ farmers can reduce emissions, increase production

Published: Thu 15 Aug 2019 10:11 AM
New Zealand is just not doing enough to address climate change needs, especially emissions from agriculture, leading Kiwi environmental tech company Zest Biotech says.
The company’s chief technical officer Nathan Balasingham says Zest Biotech is presenting to parliament’s climate change response (zero carbon) amendment bill select committee in Auckland tomorrow, to assure the select committee that New Zealand has the technology to address emissions from agriculture.
Misinformation is backing farmers into a corner and it seems New Zealand is insisting they reduce emissions but denying them the tools to do so, Balasingham says.
“New Zealand can make a huge difference and reduce its primary sector carbon emissions by addressing efficiency. Pollution is due to resources being wasted – that is urea and methane are wasted protein and energy.
“If we utilise those resources to produce more milk and meat, we will reduce waste. We have invented and developed Biozest, a pasture spray that increases pasture and ruminant productivity while reducing urea excretion and greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our work has been applauded internationally, most recently at the Greenhouse Gas Animal Agriculture conference in Brazil, yet we have been met with closed doors at home in New Zealand.
“This year, New Zealand’s parliament is considering the climate change response (zero carbon) bill, which would enshrine net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Several local councils have declared climate emergencies. And young people have joined the global movement of school strikes to call for climate action.
“According to a recent poll, four out of five people in New Zealand are increasingly concerned and think of climate change as a personally important issue.
“We will tell the select committee in Auckland tomorrow that it’s time to get behind solutions to the issue. We have the technology to reduce emissions from agriculture, without reducing herd numbers or financially crippling the industry and it can be done now.
“Farmers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by looking at new biotech solutions. We have evidence that productivity can be increased while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions so farmers can meet the targets set by the government’s new climate change bill.
“New Zealand should consider the opportunity to earn carbon credits by implementing some or all of the recommendations of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to achieve a 37 percent reduction in methane intensity.”

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