Horticulture New Zealand has welcomed the Government’s endorsement of the Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment (He waka eke noa), saying it has already started working with its growers on the challenges associated with climate change.
‘We believe that audited Farm Environment Plans are a vital tool for the horticulture industry to use to show that it is following good practice in responding to climate change,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.
‘Work already underway with growers around Levin shows that HortNZ is serious about acting on climate change and supporting its growers to meet new requirements, while ensuring their businesses are sustainable and New Zealand continues to grow fresh and healthy vegetables and fruit.
‘We have also started work to identify the research and development that the horticulture industry needs if it is to be able to meet medium to long term climate change commitments and continue to prosper.
‘Our industry’s biggest challenge is to be as effective as possible with fertiliser application. This is why research and development, and tech transfer in the area of precision horticulture are so important.’
Last month, the Ministry for Primary Industries released the latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report, which shows that horticulture export revenue is forecast to grow by 3.8 percent to $6.3 billion in the year to 30 June 2020.
‘For horticulture to continue to prosper like this, it is vital that government policy supports continued growth. For example, that the proposed freshwater reforms support new fruit growing because of its positive impact on freshwater quality and allow vegetable growers to rotate their crops,’ says Mike.