The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) announced today that a proposal led by Beef + Lamb New Zealand to develop on-farm management capability to enable significant productivity gains in the red meat sector has been approved by the PGP Investment Advisory Panel to business plan development phase.
A final decision on funding is expected later in the year subject to the development of a satisfactory business plan. The proposal involves investment of up to $37 million by PGP matching an equivalent investment by a Beef + Lamb-led consortium.
The proposal is focused on implementing the on-farm elements of the Red Meat Sector Strategy, which was developed jointly by the sector and the government last year. The proposal is centred on the development and adoption of new farm management tools and capability. Meat processors and exporters will be enabled to capture opportunities from a more market responsive and agile farming sector. The Panel believes the programme has the potential to create a step change in performance in the sector and therefore contribute to substantial economic growth for New Zealand.
MAF Director Strategy, Systems and Science Policy, James Palmer, says the potential overlap with existing PGP programmes, including Farm IQ was carefully considered.
Approval of the proposal was explicitly subject to the programme being focussed on Beef + Lamb's core role as an industry good provider behind the farm gate, not entering into commercial activity, and being aligned to other PGP programmes to ensure maximum complementarily and minimum overlaps. Beef + Lamb NZ have agreed to these conditions, Palmer says.
There were strong potential synergies between the Beef + Lamb proposal and other pastoral PGP programmes. MAF encouraged the parties to continue to work together for the betterment of their respective programmes, James further stated.
This latest decision takes the total PGP investment allocated to 10 programmes of research and innovation since 2009 to $264 million. Including industry contributions, the total is $530 million.
By way of background, the Red Meat Sector Strategy is aimed at growing the red meat sector in New Zealand by 50% by 2025 and involves a number of investors collaborating to create a demand driven value chain for red meat.
Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry New Zealand