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More success for Primary Growth Partnership programmes

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries

4 April 2014

More success for PGP programmes

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming success by three Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programmes this week, including an award nomination for a revolutionary seafood programme.

“The Precision Seafood Harvesting Programme has been nominated for a KiwiNet Research & Business Partnership Award. This is fitting recognition for a programme that could revolutionise the global fishing industry.

“The programme is developing new sustainable fishing technology that will allow fish to be landed on fishing boats alive, and in perfect condition, while safely releasing small fish and other species.

“The potential economic and environmental benefits of this are huge, and it’s no surprise it is attracting so much attention. This is a $52 million project with funding coming from both industry and government.”

Another PGP programme - Shellfish Production and Technology New Zealand Ltd (SPATnz) - has also reached a milestone in selective breeding of greenshell mussels.

Scientists have begun nurturing 80 ‘families’ of hatchery-produced baby mussels (spat), and will soon transfer a crop of selectively bred mussels to a marine farm.

“This is an important step towards selectively breeding mussels with traits such as a faster growth rate, increased resilience and vibrant colour. This will improve returns for the mussel industry, reduce reliance on wild-caught spat, and boost New Zealand’s exports.

“Another major milestone has also been achieved by the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain PGP programme, led by Dairy NZ and Fonterra.

“Scientific research conducted by Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) has discovered a ‘fat gene’, providing a genetic explanation as to why some cows produce higher fat content in their milk than others.

“This is one of only a few cases worldwide where the underlying gene affecting differences in milk composition has been identified.

“These three programmes have demonstrated why PGP is such an important tool in boosting the productivity and profitability of our primary sector,” says Mr Guy.

Background on PGP

• There are now 18 PGP programmes announced with $708 million in funding committed from both industry and government. The potential benefit to the wider economy from these programmes is estimated to be around $7 billion per year from 2025.

• The PGP aims to boost the productivity and profitability of our primary sector through investment between government and industry. It provides an essential springboard to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of primary sector innovation.

• PGP programmes are generally long-run programmes of five to seven years’ duration and are subject to oversight and monitoring by an independent panel (the Investment Advisory Panel) and MPI.

• Monitoring requirements include programme steering groups, quarterly progress reporting, annual plans, audits, and progress reviews, along with evaluation of the overall programme. Funding is only released to programmes on receipt of invoices for work completed in accordance with programme plans.

• MPI is now seeking applications for new Primary Growth Partnership programmes. Applications must be received by MPI by 12pm on Wednesday 25 June. See the PGP webpage on MPI’s website for further information and guidance.

For further information about the PGP, please visit: www.mpi.govt.nz

ENDS

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