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Scion, in partnership with AgFirst, are undertaking a research programme funded by the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) looking at GHG mitigation options for Māori-owned pastoral farms.
The research programme is led by Dr Tanira Kingi (Scion) based in Rotorua, and managed by Phil Journeaux (AgFirst) out of their Hamilton office. In December 2017, the new government outlined the process to introduce the Zero Carbon Bill to Parliament in 2018. The Bill will lay the framework for New Zealand to meet its 2050 target to be carbon neutral (zero net carbon emissions).
The consequence of this legislation is that agricultural producers will need to reduce their GHG emissions or face heavy carbon tax penalties. Farmers can do this by improving their farming practices e.g. lower stocking rates and lower fertiliser inputs, but they will also need to diversify into land uses that produce lower carbon emissions or that store carbon e.g. forestry.
This research is aimed at understanding how diversified Māori farms like Te Uranga B2 can improve their carbon profile further with changes to the management system and land use diversification. The programme will develop a carbon and economic profile of the current operation of the incorporation’s dairy, sheep & beef and forestry operations and then model hypothetical changes that the Committe of Management want to explore, to see the affect on carbon emissions and profitability.
The programme is collaborating with DairyNZ, B+LNZ, Federation of Māori Authorities and Te Tumu Paeroa to share the findings with the wider agribusiness community. While this study is carried out on Māori-owned farms, it is the first research programme in the country that is modelling both farm management mitigation options and land use changes and is therefore relevant to New Zealand’s entire agricultural industry.
For more information contact: Dr Tanira Kingi firstname.lastname@example.org
-- This article orginally appeared in the Autumn 2018 newsletter of Te Uranga B2 at https://www.teurangab2.co.nz/assets/newsletters/Autumn-2018.pdf