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Government Must Make More of Anaerobic Digestion

27 November 2013

UK - Independent sustainability and environment adviser, Tony Juniper has spoken ahead of the ADBA National Conference, next week, saying the industry needs to focus more on supporting climate smart farming.

“A range of cutting edge technologies offer the opportunity to achieve economic and job creation benefits while at the same time meeting environmental goals. Government really needs to wake up to this basic fact and to more proactively go after the great opportunities we have to hand, including anaerobic digestion," said Mr Juniper.

"Anaerobic digestion can not only help to meet our needs in terms of sustainable energy, but also help to support sustainable farming. When integrated with farming businesses anaerobic digestion can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the overall carbon footprint of food production, including through sustainable soil and nutrient management, thus improving our ability to feed a growing population while reducing the need for commercial fertilisers.

“If anaerobic digestion reached its potential, the nutrients from food waste alone would be worth over £200m, and that’s before you’ve taken into account the ‘green’ value of this low-carbon fertiliser. Anaerobic digestion is a closed loop technology, and is therefore a crucial cog in the mechanism of a sustainable society.

"This requires a different policy environment. At present this industry is incentivised only in relation to what it delivers in terms of energy generation. While this is welcome it recognises only one aspect of the benefits the technology brings. More should be done to help realise the benefits it also delivers in supporting climate smart farming.”

TheCropSite News Desk



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