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Agricultural GHG Research Receives Boost through PGgRc

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Agricultural GHG Research Receives Boost through PGgRc

The Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGgRc) has secured funding from the agriculture sector and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to continue research to find tools for mitigating greenhouse gases.

Industry partners have committed $2.3 million and this will be matched by government through MBIE’s Partnership fund over the next seven years. The research work will be lead by AgResearch along with other national and international groups.

PGgRc Consortium Manager, Mark Aspin said a new programme of activity is planned that will build on the knowledge already gained from investments in recent years. New Zealand is at the forefront of this challenging science frontier being worked on globally, and has previously delivered new knowledge such as sequencing the first rumen methanogen genome, developing a low emission sheep flock and finding feeds that can reduce methane emissions.

“The new work aims to develop a suite of ready-made tools that will reduce greenhouse gases by 30 per cent by 2030 while supporting the agricultural industry’s growth targets of two per cent each year.”

Together with the funds contributed from consortium partner AgResearch, the annual research investment of $5.4m will specifically focus on:
• Refining animal breeding tools for low emission livestock
• Identifying more low greenhouse gas feeds
• Identifying inhibitors that reduce ruminant emissions
• Developing a vaccine to reduce ruminant emissions
• Understanding the productivity effects and enhancing the adoption of mitigations

The refreshed research programme, while recognising the long term commitment required, will be strongly focused on delivery of mitigation solutions, developed through an increased partnership between the consortium and the New Zealand Agricultural Research Centre (NZAGRC). Both of these organisations will coordinate their operations to ensure rapid delivery of effective options for farmers.

Agriculture plays a critical role in the New Zealand economy and unless technical solutions are found to reduce agricultural emissions, there may be significant ETS liabilities in the future, Mr Aspin said.

“We’re completely focused on developing technologies that are practical and can be readily adopted by farmers.”

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