Farmers are being told to expect further rises in fertiliser prices within weeks.
The initiative will see Ballance partner with a number of regional science and technology fairs around the country to encourage greater interest in and understanding of agriculture in New Zealand – specifically through the launch of a new Sustainable Agricultural Award category.
The award will recognise students who demonstrate a keen understanding of a current or emerging sustainability issue affecting New Zealand’s primary industries, through projects which apply scientific methods and innovative thinking to solve real-life problems.
Eligible entries will explore topics such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing agricultural chemical use, nutrient loss to waterways, and other environmental concerns.
The sponsorship rollout builds on Ballance’s $25 million Future Ready Farms programme which was launched in 2020 in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures).
Ballance’s SFF Futures programme manager Suzanne Young says the organisation is proud to be supporting young Kiwis as they step up to tackle the environmental challenges facing New Zealand’s agricultural sector.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for these brilliant young minds to exercise their creativity and passion to address these issues, and we’re excited to see what these future-focused thinkers can come up with,” Young says.
“Sustainability is fundamental to our work at Ballance, and our aim is to inspire the next generation to continue this mission. Our hope is that their projects will motivate them to pursue a career in agriculture, science or innovation – so that we can help preserve New Zealand’s natural environment and maintain our position as global leaders in sustainability.”
Ballance will sponsor the Sustainable Agricultural Award special category in the Central Northland, South and East Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Canterbury-Westland, and Otago science and technology fairs, along with additional sponsorship activity at the Auckland North Harbour and Marlborough science and technology fairs.