I confess to not having been a fan of that very influential chap Dr William Rolleston. My main concern has been that he seems super keen on genetic engineering about which I am more skeptical.
But this excerpt from a recent speech suggests I may have underestimated the man.
...we need science to help us to do a whole lot more from a whole lot less - all the while ensuring that the soil minerals, insects, bacteria and nutrients are kept in optimal balance.
We may have something to learn from organic agriculture here but we must be sure that the ideas we deploy have a scientific basis while satisfying our productivity and environmental requirementsThis is exciting news because of Dr Rolleston's status as one who helped initiate and actively participates in New Zealand's new collaborative approach to taxpayer-funded science. Obviously it is sensible to canvas a wide range of options for improving the sustainable productivity of agriculture; indeed it would be foolish not to.
So I am pleased to hear that Dr Rolleston supports using NZ's taxpayer funding of science to properly investigate all of the options for sustainable growth in agriculture, including general-purpose technologies that farmers can adopt themselves without paying licence fees to holders of intellectual property.
I admit that so far I haven't seen any evidence that this new approach is actually seeking to seriously investigate even biological farming ideas, much less organic ones. But being a mere farmer I guess that's not too surprising. I shall investigate further.