Advocate urges agricultural ministers to adopt "whole of government" proposal

Australia’s National Soils Advocate, Major General Michael Jeffery, has urged today’s meeting of the Agricultural Ministerial Council to adopt his proposals to restore and maintain the health of the Australian agricultural landscape.

In a letter to the Federal, State and Territory Ministers for Agriculture, General Jeffery says the Council should give very close attention to his paper “Restore the Soil: Prosper the Nation”.

“Adoption of these proposals would mean that, perhaps for the first time in our national agricultural history, fundamental policy principles can be agreed between you all that will provide lasting benefit to our 120,000 farmers, to the public in general and to our trading partners”.

Achieving the objective of restoring and maintaining the health of our agricultural landscape can only be done if we integrate the management of our soil function (biological, fungal and nutrient), our water (the hydrology), and the plants (diversity rather than mono cultures)”. 

“These core components are so important that I have recommended they be declared key national, natural strategic assets, to be managed accordingly and in an integrated way”. 

“If any one of the three is poorly managed, the other two will inevitably fail”.

General Jeffery advised the Council that, as farmers are managing an agricultural asset comprising almost sixty per cent of the Australian continent, it is unfair that they carry the responsibility of not only producing cheap, clean and green products, but also the primary financial burden of regenerating their landscapes.

“These burdens mean that they often have to stress their soils in an unsustainable attempt to increase productivity to pay off bank debt”.

“I believe that the Agricultural Ministers have a unique opportunity to come together as a united body to demonstrate how Australia can lead the way for its own benefit and for an increasingly soil and water depleted world to also benefit from the knowledge we can impart”, General Jeffery said.

Find “Restore the Soil: Prosper the Nation” here

Soils for Life programs demonstrate proven solutions in regenerative landscape management to increase the natural capital value of the Australian landscape – rural, regional and urban.

For more information, contact: Niree Creed, Media, Soils for Life:0418625595



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