Saturday, July 13, 2024

New $8m support for agricultural emissions reduction

The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) have committing an additional combined $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions.

Agriculture Minister, Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s world best farmers.

“The AgriZeroNZ public-private joint venture is accelerating the development, commercialisation and uptake of practical tools and solutions for our farmers to meet our international obligations,” said the Minister.

“I am pleased to welcome BNZ as a new shareholder of AgriZeroNZ.”

Other shareholders include: The a2 Milk Company, ANZ, ASB, ANZCO, Fonterra, Rabobank, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms and Synlait, alongside the Crown.

“This will take the overall investment in AgriZeroNZ to $191 million over the first four years – 50% of this funding is Crown investment.”

Minister McClay says the joint venture shows an increasing commitment to get emission reduction tools into the hands of farmers sooner.

“New Zealand farmers are the world’s most efficient producers. It doesn’t make sense to send jobs and production overseas, while less carbon-efficient countries produce the food the world needs,” he said.

“That is why we are focused on finding practical tools and technology to reduce agricultural emissions in a way that won’t reduce production or export revenue.”

To support the sector, the Government has committed an additional $400 million to emission reducing projects under Budget 2024. This includes the ongoing commitment to AgriZeroNZ to match industry contributions; and an additional $50.5 million invested in New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) over the next five years. 

The investments will support the development and progress of identifying and breeding low emissions animals; developing methane and nitrous oxide inhibitors and supporting global collaborations and research with partners to find solutions that will benefit New Zealand farming systems.

“We have also committed $52.5 million to early R&D investments through the Centre for Climate Action, which consist of: genetic research, methanogen vaccine research, early life intervention studies, development of better on-farm emissions measurement tools, and effluent and feed management research,” said Mr McClay.

“These investments will sharpen our competitive edge and increase export value. 

“Our economic security depends on New Zealand’s food and fibre sector. It’s our biggest export earner generating $54.6 billion this year. Innovative emission reducing technology is the key to retaining production and rebuilding our economy,” he said.

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