Topic: Environment

New Greenpeace doco gives new insight on farming

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

Greenpeace wants the Government to rethink the way that farmers farm.  In a documentary released today, The Regenerators, Greenpeace has some answers.

Rather than adding chemicals to make grass grow, one farmer has a solution.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says It’s great to see the environmental movement and farmers working together on the solutions that will clean up our rivers it will take care of our land and still produce great food for all of us to eat.”

Greenpeace traveled the country speaking to farmers.  Soil Scientist Nicole Masters says, “Farmers do see themselves as stewards and they do want to do a good job, they just don't have the tools or the support in order to be able to reduce that nitrogen.”

She also says, “I think we collectively need to see that they're a big part of the solution out there and not to stick their heads in the sand.”

The documentary highlights the need for the Government to support a new way of farming.

Turei says, “We have thousands of other farmers who are working really hard to clean up their rivers, their fencing off their waterways they're reducing their stock numbers, they're looking for new ideas and ways to clean up their farming because they love the country that they farm in.”

A big problem is debt.  Farmer Steve Broughton explains, “I've got a neighbour here fairly close he's been with me on some field days and done a lot of this stuff but definitely more than mine and mines high and he just can't take the jump, its too scary for him. These people need some help.”

Greenpeace wants the Government to redirect $480m of funding for big irrigation and dairying towards better farming methods.