Help for farmers to meet climate challenges

  • Hon Damien O’Connor
  • Hon James Shaw
Agriculture Climate Change

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says a slew of new research projects will boost New Zealand’s world-leading efforts to help farmers understand and mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Many farmers are quietly getting on with the work of introducing more sustainable on-farm practices and the Government wants to support them in that work,’’ Mr O’Connor said.

New Zealand is a world leader of research to reduce emissions in the agriculture sector. The latest projects will help researchers, government and farmers better understand and adapt to the effects of climate change.”

The $1.56 million for eight new projects is provided through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change Research Programme (SLMACC) and include:

  • $500,000 for Landcare Research and AgResearch to develop practical actions that farmers can take to adapt to climate change.
  • $150,000 for the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) to help rural advisors boost climate change knowledge.
  • $140,000 for NIWA to develop better tools to measure and assess drought conditions.

“The last funding comes on top of the $229 million investment we made in the farming sector through the sustainable land use package,’’ Mr O’Connor said.

“SLMACC has funded over 150 projects over the last 10 years, to the tune of approximately $50 million. In Budget 2019 we also invested $8.5 million to further our work with the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA).’’

Climate Change Minister James Shaw welcomed the projects.

“Farmers know better than most about the effects of climate change and many are innovating so that they can drive down on-farm emissions. This extra funding for research programmes means more support for New Zealanders who wish to innovate further so they can farm sustainably. 

“In being the best possible steward of the earth, farmers contribute towards leaving a safe planet for our kids and grandkids. The research being funded today will help them get there,” Mr Shaw said.