NZAGRC wins international contract

New Zealand researchers have won international funding for further research into finding ways for livestock production systems around the world to reduce the amount of methane emitted from farm animals.

The New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC), in conjunction with the United Nations (FAO), has been successful in obtaining funding from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) for a project to reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation in several world regions.

The NZAGRC and Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGgRC)’s latest Release newsletter says the CCAC is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme to reduce so-called ‘short-lived’ climate pollutants, including black carbon and methane from industrial and agricultural sources. The project will seek to identify options and demonstrate ways of reducing methane emissions intensity through practice change in ruminant livestock production systems in Asia, East Africa and Latin America. It builds on an existing project funded by the New Zealand Government in support of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) and will extend this work into more regions of the world and take this knowledge to the farm level.

The project will examine packages of actions that improve resource use efficiency and will implement them in selected pilot sites to reduce emissions of enteric methane per unit of product. Flow-on effects will include increased livestock productivity and food security and realisation of broader social, economic and other environmental goals. The project received $1 million for the first phase of the project that will take about nine months. A further $2 million of funding is contingent upon satisfactory progress in the first phase.

Twenty one organisations and alliances from throughout the world will collaborate to achieve these goals over the next two to three years.

Dr Harry Clark, NZAGRC director, is co-leader of the project and Dr Victoria Hatton, with support from both the Ministry for Primary Industries and the CCAC Project, has been seconded to the FAO in Rom to be project coordinator.

REMINDER: The NZAGRC’s Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Conference will take place on 28 April in Palmerston North. You can register at www.nzagrc.org.nz/conference.

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