Sunday, July 3, 2022

Funding assured for study

The Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGgRc) has secured funding from the agriculture sector and government to keep studying easy-to-mitigate greenhouse gases. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Industry will match $2.3 million from industry groups for the work, amounting to annual investment of $5.4m over seven years. PGgRc consortium manager Mark Aspin said a new programme was planned that would build on the knowledge already gained from investments in recent years. New Zealand was at the forefront of this challenging science frontier and had previously delivered new knowledge, such as sequencing the first rumen methanogen genome, developing a low-emission sheep flock and finding feed that could reduce methane emissions, he said.

“The new work aims to develop a suite of ready-made tools that will reduce greenhouse gases by 30% by 2030, while supporting the agricultural industry’s growth targets of 2% each year.”

Together with the funds contributed from consortium partner and lead agency AgResearch, the research will 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.

Agriculture played a critical role in the NZ economy and unless technical solutions were found to reduce agricultural emissions there might be significant ETS liabilities in the future, Aspin said.

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

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