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MPs visit fertiliser project for food inquiry

8 September 2022

An innovative project for the local production of fertiliser on farms will be visited by MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on 8 September 2022, as part of their inquiry, Food Security.

The food security inquiry will look at factors currently affecting food supply chains and food prices. One of these factors is the war between Russia and Ukraine, both of which are major exporters of fertiliser.  

A press release on the launch of the inquiry is here and the full terms of reference for it are here

The fertiliser project to be visited, at a farm near Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, has developed a technique for adding nitrogen from the air to cattle dung slurry. This produces a nitrogen-enriched fertiliser while at the same time reducing emissions of ammonia (a pollutant) and methane (a greenhouse gas) from the slurry. The resultant enriched fertiliser can be spread on fields using existing farm equipment.  

The MPs will look at the machinery involved, which fits into a converted shipping container,  as well as the results of technical trials by the manufacturers, a company called N2 Applied, and independent agricultural consultants. 

The MPs taking part in the visit will be:  

  • Sir Robert Goodwill MP (Chair of the Committee and Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby) 
  • Rosie Duffield MP (Labour, Canterbury)

Chair's comments

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.” 

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright Gabriel Sainhas