On the 8th of September, MPs from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee visited a new project for the local production of fertiliser on farms as part of the Committee’s inquiry into food security.
The inquiry is looking at factors impacting food supply chains and prices, including the war between Russia and Ukraine both of which are major exporters of fertiliser.
A farm near Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire has developed a technique for adding nitrogen from the air to slurry. This produces an enriched fertiliser, as well as reduces emissions of ammonia and methane.
The MPs who took part in the visit are:
- Sir Robert Goodwill MP (Chair of the Committee and Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby)
- Ian Byrne MP (Labour, Liverpool, West Derby)
- Barry Gardiner MP (Labour, Brent North)
- Julian Sturdy MP (Conservative, York Outer)
- Rosie Duffield MP (Labour, Canterbury)
They looked at the machinery involved, which reportedly fits into a converted shipping container, as well as results of technical trials by N2 Applied (the manufacturer) and independent consultants.
Sir Robert Goodwill MP, said: “Given the pressures facing UK farmers and food producers we need to look at innovative solutions to help us strengthen our food security.
“Fertiliser prices are currently high. This technology – which creates a richer fertiliser while reducing the pollution associated with slurry – sounds like a step forward. It could help both farmers and the environment.
“I’m keen to learn more about developments like this and to discuss what role the government can potentially play in encouraging initiatives that can help make us more self-sufficient in the food we produce.”