OPINION: Ineffective regulation is leading to farmers and growers missing out on products that will increase their productivity and be safer to use.
Gavin Kerr, Country Manager for agrichemical company Nufarm, was appointed Agcarm’s president at its annual meeting last week.
Kerr says he would like to see one important change implemented before the end of his three-year term: fast-tracked products to the New Zealand market.
“Farmers and growers need and deserve access to the best and latest products. But New Zealand is missing out on new, more effective treatments due to delays that discourage investment in introducing these technologies.
“Delays in the regulation of field trials and research means that our farmers and growers are missing out on cutting edge products. These delays can set back projects for two years, so undermine the viability of having domestic research and development programmes.
“In New Zealand, we require agrichemical companies to invest in trials, which can cost up to $500,000 to register a product. The delays mean that it is not economically viable to introduce some products, making it difficult to find replacements for older and less environmentally friendly products.”
Kerr says New Zealand growers bear the cost through limited access to these products and lost production.
“We must ensure that New Zealand farmers have access to the most effective science and solutions that are sustainable and add value.”
Kerr manages the Nufarm New Zealand business and was first elected to the Agcarm Board in 2016.