NZAGRC Business Plan 2010
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About half of New Zealand's GHG emissions come from agriculture. At the same time, about 44% of New Zealand's merchandise export earnings also come from agriculture. Cutting GHG emissions by reducing agricultural production would therefore have a severe impact on New Zealand's export revenue. For economic reasons and because the human population of the world requires agriculture to produce food, it is the role of the Centre to find ways by which New Zealand can meet its international GHG emission obligations without reducing agricultural output. The changes required in New Zealand agriculture, if this goal is to be achieved, will be profound and to achieve them will demand transformational science, effective development of GHG mitigation products, services and approaches, and first class transfer of adoption of mitigation technologies and new knowledge by the agriculture sector.
The Centre is conscious that the importance of this field for New Zealand has meant that there have been several significant contributions to GHG mitigation research prior to the Centre's establishment - especially the PGgRc and the SLMACC programmes. Nevertheless, key skills are held by only one or two researchers in many of the specialist areas required to develop mitigation approaches. Soil carbon research has received little investment for many years and consequently requires invigorating. The Centre science strategy was developed in the context of this existing research environment.
The Centre's research programme includes approaches to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions, increase soil carbon accumulation and to develop the tools needed to design novel, practical and credible farm systems that maintain/enhance profitability while reducing GHG emissions.
To carry out its R&D activities, the Centre will initially draw on about 20 full time equivalent research staff based in its partner research organisations. The Centre is led by a Director who is assisted by an administration manager and a part-time assistant/receptionist. The Centre is based in a dedicated building on the AgResearch Grasslands campus, near Palmerston North.
The Centre has four main groups of stakeholders: farmers whose animals produce the bulk of NZ agricultural greenhouse gases; food processing companies exporting products for which the GHG emissions related to their production may increase costs or affect the ability to sell their products; government officials working on policy relating to GHGs; and the wider NZ public. Less direct stakeholders include agricultural sector support companies that may commercialise GHG mitigation technologies and the international GHG science community. As tangata whenua, MÃ„Â?ori hold a special place among the Centre's stakeholders and two places have been reserved for MÃ„Â?ori on the Centre's Stakeholder Advisory Group. A detailed strategy for MÃ„Â?ori involvement in the Centre is being developed in consultation with MAF, who are utilising findings from appropriate studies and documents relating to MÃ„Â?ori land use to gain a base understanding of the current opportunities for engagement with MÃ„Â?ori.
The financial projections in this business plan envisage an investment of $48.5 million by the Primary Growth Partnership over 10 years, divided between capital and operating costs. In addition, the Centre is expected to align with or manage substantial additional funds to reduce GHG emissions. These funds will be derived from the PGgRc, SLMACC, Global Research Alliance and other sources. This plan will be reviewed, and updated where required, every 2.5 years in alignment with formal Centre reviews by the Crown. The financial projections are updated annually.
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