Celebrating AgriZero NZ's First Year + Innovative Climate Solutions

Celebrating AgriZero NZ's First Year + Innovative Climate Solutions

Formerly known as the Centre for Climate Change, AgriZero NZ has just celebrated its one-year anniversary. 

Its Chief Executive Wayne McNee shares the progress and future plans of AgriZero NZ, a public-private partnership that has raised $183 million to invest in solutions aimed at reducing emissions in farming. 

One of the key talking points revolves around the recent addition of heavyweight investors, including A2 Milk, ASB, and ANZ, to the AgriZero NZ initiative. This expansion not only signifies growing support for sustainable agriculture but also leverages additional government funding, as Wayne explains.

"So every time we get new private sector funding, we get new government funding." 

McNee discusses the scientific advancements being funded by AgriZero NZ, like the bolus developed by Ruminant Biotech, which is inserted into an animal's rumen to reduce emissions. He also highlights investments in hoofprint biome and Biolumic for developing feed additives and seed treatments, respectively. 

"We've invested some money in a measurement facility that's being built at Massey no 4, and we've got another big announcement coming up in the next couple of weeks." 

The conversation delves into the global context, noting that while much research on reducing emissions has focused on intensive feeding systems in countries like the US and Europe, AgriZero NZ's mission is to find solutions that suit pastoral farming systems prevalent in New Zealand. 

McNee acknowledges international efforts and funding from philanthropic organisations, highlighting the importance of developing solutions that can be applied worldwide, particularly in pasture-grazing countries. 

Finally, he addresses the significance of the initiative for New Zealand's agricultural sector, stating, "The customers of our processes have got three emissions targets... So that's the real opportunity for us and it's also the risk if we can't take action." 

He emphasises that while New Zealand's grass-fed farming system starts off as emission-efficient, other countries may surpass it without continued innovation and action. 

Overall, the conversation paints a hopeful yet pragmatic picture of the future of sustainable farming in New Zealand, driven by AgriZero NZ's commitment to investing in scientific solutions for a cleaner planet. 

McNee's insights offer a glimpse into the organisation's strategy to meet emission reduction goals and provide farmers with a range of effective tools by 2026-2027.

Listen to the full chat between Wayne McNee and Dominic George above.

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