Low emissions farm systems for the Māori sector
This project aims to improve the capacity of Māori farmers to improve their efficiency and productivity while lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Two Māori agri-business entities involving dairy, sheep and beef, forestry and horticulture are having their GHG emissions modelled including looking at how these emissions and profitability can be balanced at a business level.
In addition, the project investigates decision-making criteria and issues around introducing new GHG mitigation strategies and analyses any barriers to the uptake of such strategies.
More information can be found at Reducing greenhouse gas emissions on Māori-owned farms (external website)
Current progress and related stories
Science Profile - Phil Journeaux
Farming Has Always Been Part of Phil’s Life
Phil Journeaux’s pathway to co-leading the NZAGRC’s Māori-focused research programme (with Dr Tanira Kingi at Scion) was set at an early age.
Born and raised in the rural Central North Island in Raetihi, most of his friends lived on farms, so he was interested in farming from his childhood.
After attending College in Ohakune and Whanganui Phil headed to Massey University where he did his Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree and later completed his Master of Agricultural Science.
“Essentially it was a follow-on from my interest in farming,” he says. “I started work out of varsity with MAF** as a farm advisor in Northland. Within MAF I ended up as North Island Manager for the Policy Group. I was interested in aspects of management, so did an MBA at Waikato University.” **(Now Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).
Phil’s interests also expanded to include the specifics of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation research.
“Given the wider publicity around GHGs, I was interested in what this meant at a farm level – what practical measures could farmers take, and what was the implication for this on farm systems and profitability?”
This focus on farms systems, management and mitigation blended into Phil’s next role with AgFirst.
“My main role was as an agricultural economics consultant, although I was involved in some research-type projects involving land use, agri-environmental impacts and cost/benefit analyses, plus some involvement in Primary Growth Partnership (PGP programmes) a research fund operated by MPI.”
Now, in his involvement in the NZAGRC’s Māori-focused research programme, Phil is a combination of project manager – overseeing the administration of the project and completion of milestones etc - as well as carrying out modelling work with Farmax and Overseer, and on-farm economic analyses.
He puts up proposals for projects, compiles the results and presents them at farm field days and huis to spread the word about the research being undertaken.
The NZAGRC funded programme aims to assist the capacity of Māori farmers to improve their efficiency and productivity while lowering GHG emissions.
The research programme has advanced knowledge over the last couple of years in several areas such as modelling of farm systems and land-use change. Phil says both areas are important for future research work.
“The work to date shows that (a) the application of the GHG mitigation strategies can be quite complex at a farm level, and (b) every farm is different, so there are not necessarily easy answers to the question of mitigating GHGs and remaining profitable.”
Looking forward, Phil says he intends to continue working on GHG mitigation strategies that are both practical and maintain farm profitability and acknowledges the importance of “disseminating information and working with farmers in achieving the adoption of some of these approaches.”
Outside of work, he has a small block of land so “… I play at farming in the weekends. I also enjoy hunting, reading and coaching the All Blacks from the couch!!”
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