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Potatoes New Zealand gearing up to achieve zero emissions goal

Potatoes New Zealand is seeking funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries for a nationwide project to transition crop production to more sustainable land management. Annette Scott reports for Farmers Weekly.

The multi-stream project is designed to protect industries’ ability to grow, process and export products while meeting environmental standards and maintaining international competitiveness.

In February Potatoes NZ adopted a new strategic objective of zero net emissions by 2050. It is now one of three central objectives for the sector including doubling export value by 2025 and increasing domestic value by 50% by 2025.

Communications and engagement officer Gemma Carroll said PNZ is focused on reducing emissions while continuing industry growth.

In September PNZ launched the Emissions Taskforce, underpinned by a multi-workstream project knows as the Emissions Project PNZ 79. Earlier this year the project expanded and became the Sustainable Vegetable Systems Project (SVS) to reflect its relevance to the whole vegetable sector.

It included the expansion of industry stakeholders to include leafy greens, onions and brassicas and adjusted the focus of some workstreams with the goal of eventually extending the tools and outcomes to all in the vegetable sector.

The project data will inform industry and MPI on practices and help develop new system strategies and tools to manage leaching. The project will also analyse nitrate uptake and nutrient leaching, investigate nutrient modelling and validate Overseer predictions for potato and vegetable crops.

“This will result in a suite of tools to help growers implement good management practice and provide leaching assessments to regulators,” Gemma Carroll said. “This will help growers transition to a more sustainable future and maintain farmers’ licence to operate. Our project will enable growers to make sustainable decisions economically and environmentally and ensure government targets are met”.

Source: Farmers Weekly
Photo: Growers will be kept informed of updates at industry events such as this field trial update at Mid Canterbury. | Annette Scott

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