Soils funds to grow value of natural capital

Soils funds to grow value of natural capital

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National Soil Advocated Michael Jeffrey reappointed to role, Soils for Life gets cash injection.

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Former Governor General, Major General Michael Jeffery, has been reappointed as the National Soil Advocate.

The announcement will be made today at a regional forum in Dubbo today, which is being attended by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy PM Michael McCormack.

The government will also reinvest $2 million in funding over 4 years to support Soils for Life.

Soils for Life is an independent, non-profit organisation was founded in 2012 and has been chaired by Major General Jeffery since its inauguration.

As National Soils Advocate, Major General Jeffery raises public awareness of the critical role soil plays in sustainable agriculture and its contribution to food security.

Soils for Life is dedicated to encouraging adoption of regenerative landscape management. It supports farmers and land managers who are successfully regenerating their landscapes while maintaining or increasing their production.

"The overarching principle of the National Advocate's appointment was that Australia's soil, water and vegetation are key natural, national, strategic assets and must be managed in an integrated way across the continent," Mr McCormack said.

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We must act on soil health: McCormack

In its 2017 report, Restore the Soil: Prosper the Nation, Soils for Life recommended the federal government:

  • Agree to a national soils policy with the objective of maintaining and restoring the health of the Australian agricultural landscape
  • Educate children about soil health and healthy food with a garden in every primary and junior high school.
  • Promote the production of healthy food from healthy soils as an antidote to illnesses and allergies.
  • Support farmers to adopt regenerative practices so they don't have to go into debt.
  • Establish a long-term soil, water, vegetation and agricultural knowledge program to encourage collaboration between scientists and successful farmers and re-establishes State/Territory agricultural research stations.
  • Increase the funds available through National Landcare to encourage more farmers to adopt regenerative land management practices.
  • Ask Rural Research and Development Corporations to direct a proportion of their research funds to improve understanding of the plant and soil microbiome processes underlying regenerative farming practices.
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