“The Government’s primary focus has been on how to price emissions and get farmers to cough up more money, but they should have been more worried about how farmers can practically lower emissions through technological advancements without paying an extra...
“The Government’s primary focus has been on how to price emissions and get farmers to cough up more money, but they should have been more worried about how farmers can practically lower emissions through technological advancements without paying an extra tax,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.
“ACT position is clear – technology before tax. We say farmers shouldn’t be forced into an emissions pricing scheme, until there are credible and practical methane mitigation technologies available. We’re pleased the Government hasn’t forged ahead with a brutal tax at the processor level, but if levers aren’t pulled to allow farmers to access the technology that can help them lower their emissions it will be pointless and amount to more costs on the sector that kept us afloat throughout the COVID pandemic.
“It is also disappointing that the Government’s representatives in the partnership, the Ministry for the Environment and Ministry for Primary Industries, are refusing to sign due to citing a conflict of interest that they have somehow only discovered more than two years after joining the partnership. The reality is that they don’t want to sign because they don’t want to be held accountable.
“The Government has spent hundreds of millions on R&D, but farmers are yet to see the results of any of it. Bovaer feed additive is being used across Europe and can tangibly reduce on-farm emissions, but in New Zealand their application hasn’t even been considered 14 months after it was lodged with the EPA.
“Meanwhile our out of date genetic engineering laws mean that innovations like AgResearch’s High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass, which has the potential to reduce livestock methane emissions by around 23 per cent and ensure less nitrogen is excreted into the environment, are illegal here.
“If the Government is serious about reducing agricultural emissions it should be looking at solutions like this.
“Today’s announcement means that there is a lot more work to be done. ACT will continue to advocate for a technology before tax approach that keeps our farmers at the pinnacle of global agriculture.”