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Government Funding Boost For Emissions Reduction Research Welcomed By NZAGRC

NZAGRC managed GreenFeed Machine being used on-farm to measure methane outputs from beef cattle as part of its emissions reduction research portfolio to support New Zealand farmers. Photo/Supplied

The funding for the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) was announced by Ministers today as part of a $400 million package over the next four years to further support farmers and growers to reduce emissions by accelerating the availability of tools and technologies.

The scaled-up funding for the NZAGRC is in addition to the annual $15.7 million currently provided by government and will be spent over the next five years identifying and funding critical research and development. With other existing funding this will see the NZAGRC invest around $150 million in emissions reduction research in that period.

David Hughes, NZAGRC chair, said “the additional funding will enable the centre to invest in a much more ambitious research programme. Farmers and growers are searching for tools and technologies that will allow them to respond to customer demands and meet emission reduction commitments. This investment will help us support the critical R&D required to deliver what they need.”

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The NZAGRC was established in 2010 to find ways to reduce emissions on New Zealand farms. It is based in Palmerston North and hosted by AgResearch. The NZAGRC team funds and manages research delivered by a wide range of research providers. Its broad portfolio of research is aimed at getting solutions that work for all New Zealand farmers and farming systems – seeking ‘silver buckshot’ rather than a ‘silver bullet’.

Naomi Parker, NZAGRC Executive Director, said “the NZAGRC has been shaping and managing excellent research programmes in this complex area of science for more than 14 years. This has helped take mitigation research forward globally and has led to major advances in the understanding of methane and nitrous oxide production, the ability to breed low emissions animals, and to directly inhibit nitrous oxide and methane. This additional funding will be critical in accelerating our work, and getting solutions in the hands of farmers and growers faster.”

Sue Bidrose, CE of AgResearch said “as host of the NZAGRC we’re delighted to continue to support this critical work, and as one of the research providers to the NZAGRC we look forward to our teams working alongside other great scientists to deliver real impact in emissions reduction.”

Part of the new funding is supporting the NZAGRC’s competitive 2024 Innovation Fund round, opening on 17 June. This will distribute $2million for novel research aimed at making substantial reductions in methane and/or nitrous oxide emissions from New Zealand farms.

Other work to be supported through the scaled-up funding includes:

  • Accelerating progress on breeding low emissions cattle.
  • Developing faster and cheaper ways of identifying low emissions animals.
  • Accelerating work on methane and nitrous oxide inhibitors with a view to transitioning to commercial partners in the next four years.
  • Scaling up work on a methane vaccine, with AgriZeroNZ, to drive for proof of concept as fast as possible.
  • Establishing collaborations with global researchers to answer critical science questions impeding progress to solutions.
  • Strengthening research focused on supporting Māori agribusinesses to reduce emissions.
  • Building additional capability and capacity for emissions reduction research.

The NZAGRC is one part of Government’s Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, alongside AgriZeroNZ – the joint venture owned by government and private sector companies. The NZAGRC and AgriZeroNZ have a strong partnership, bringing complementary skills and approaches to working towards delivering the same emissions reduction outcomes.


The NZAGRC is delighted to be part of the new Science for Farmers site at National Fieldays, 12-15 June 2024 led by MPI On-Farm Support, with support from NZAGRC, AgriZeroNZ, AgResearch, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, LIC, and Massey University. This new site (at F29) will showcase some of the best science and innovation, (including research funded by the NZAGRC) to help sustainably boost on-farm profitability, protect the environment, and reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The site will have daily presentations from industry experts, including:

  • Wednesday, 3pm: The science behind lowering emissions: What it takes to deliver practical solutions for farmers. With Naomi Parker (Executive Director) and Harry Clark (Chief Scientist) from NZAGRC
  • Thursday, 10am: The holy grail methane vaccine – can we get there? With Wayne McNee, CE AgriZeroNZ and Sinead Leahy, Climate Scientist NZAGRC. 

 NZAGRC also hosts www.agmatters.co.nz - an informative website with practical, science-backed information and case studies about how to get to grips with agricultural emissions and take action.

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