As an organisation that consistently calls for science and ground-truthed research to underpin policy and regulations, Federated Farmers says it has no problem with the government investing $249 million in the 2018 round of the Endeavour Fund.
“It’s a lot of money but it should be viewed as an investment in our future,” Feds science and innovation spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.
“The nation has some big challenges ahead, including improving resilience to climate change, protecting biodiversity and maintaining economic performance.”
The Endeavour Fund is New Zealand’s largest research and science contestable fund and the 69 multi-year projects approved should deliver real gains in knowledge and future opportunities, Hoggard says.
He notes that at least 19 of the projects directly relate to agriculture and food production.
In particular, Federated Farmers is pleased to see an $11.4m NIWA project to advance the carbon inventory locked up in forest, grassland and urban environments, and $7.7m to a Lincoln Agritech-led team which will seek better understanding of the pathways by which nitrogen travels from land to waterways. This is a project which the Feds have identified as a priority.
Massey University will get $11.2m for its project Milks Mean More: Unlocking the potential of New Zealand’s ruminant milks, and NIWA will use $8m to explore new technologies to double the effectiveness of on-farm diffuse pollution mitigation.
New Zealand farmers pride themselves on being world leaders in both production and sustainability, Hoggard says.
They need the best science and research data available to step up our game even more.
Source: Federated Farmers