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NZ support for agriculture innovation

NZ support for agriculture innovation

Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced an $11 million boost to global agricultural research.

“New Zealand is a world leader in international agriculture research and we want to help meet global food needs in ways that are positive for the environment,” Mr Brownlee says.

“New Zealand is committing $11 million over two years to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a network of research institutes around the world that focus on agriculture, forestry and fishing.

“Our contribution will support improved access to safe, affordable and nutritious food, reduce poverty by improving farming practices, and enhance the management of natural resources,” Mr Brownlee says.

Mr Brownlee is currently in Colombia for the Pacific Alliance Summit. Agriculture innovation is at the centre of what New Zealand has to offer to the region.

In March, we established the New Zealand – Pacific Alliance Agricultural Cooperation Initiative, which will engage on projects within the Pacific Alliance that could benefit from New Zealand expertise and innovation.

The initiative will provide $800,000 over two years to support cooperation activities.

So far three Pacific Alliance delegations have visited New Zealand to research areas for potential collaboration – Colombia (red meat sector), Mexico (dairy, goat and sheep) and Peru (dairy). A Chilean delegation focused on horticulture and irrigation will visit New Zealand in October.

Notes to editors:
Some examples of Consultative Group research centres include:

• WorldFish, based in Malaysia, has research programmes in the Pacific, aimed at improving management of coastal marine resources and the development of sustainable aquaculture.

• The International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines is working on developing new rice varieties fortified with iron, zinc, and vitamin A, which are the common nutrient deficiencies in rice-consuming countries.

• The International Potato Center, based in Peru, is a lead institute for distributing an enhanced maize variety fortified with vitamin A to Tanzania, which suffers from severe vitamin A deficiency.

• CGIAR System-wide is developing agriculture practices to help control soil erosion and improve its organic content.

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