$130 million of new funding to support agricultural industry
September 3 2013
New projects focus on environmental management and growth of agri-foods exports
In the latest round of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment funding, the five partners in the Lincoln Hub – AgResearch, DairyNZ, Landcare Research, Lincoln University and Plant & Food Research – secured grants totalling $133 million for 21 new research projects to support innovation and environmental management in the dairy, meat, horticulture, cropping and wider agri-food sectors.
In the largest programme to receive funding, DairyNZ will lead a nationwide $24 million project – $21 million from the Government with additional funds from the industry – to reduce nitrate leaching losses from dairy, arable, beef, sheep and mixed farm business. The six-year project will combine research across the five organisations in the hub, in partnership with the Foundation for Arable Research, to develop pasture and cropping sequences that are more efficient at reducing nitrogen in urine and capturing nitrogen in the field.
“We’re going to combine the expertise and resources of three Crown Research Institutes, one university, and industry bodies to solve the twin challenges of increasing New Zealand’s agricultural exports while reducing the environmental footprint of farming,” says DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle. “We estimate that successful implementation of the findings of this research will help bring about long-term economic benefits worth around $2 billion per annum to the country.”
Other research funding will improve the economic and environmental efficiency of New Zealand farming through the improvement of new irrigation and pollination technologies across the sector, as well as the development of next generation biopesticides for the control of pests and diseases that reduce productivity of pastoral, horticultural and arable crops. Export returns will also be increased through the development of new cultivars and production technologies for the horticulture sector, and in the dairy sector, new research will boost production and exports of goat and sheep dairy products.
The Lincoln Hub brings together five partners – AgResearch, DairyNZ, Landcare Research, Lincoln University and Plant & Food Research – to create a world-class agricultural research and education facility. The Hub will support the doubling of exports from New Zealand’s primary sector to $60 billion by 2025.
Article sourced from plantandfood.co.nz