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Farmers Will Fund Good Science

The agriculture sector is already voluntarily funding valid research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says Tom Lambie, President, Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc.)

Mr Lambie was responding to Minister Hodgson’s repeated call for farmers to spend another $8.4 annually on climate change research.

“The agriculture sector has committed $800,000 as a first-year investment in a consortium to look at sound research proposals. This is on top of the more than $100 million of levy funds spent by MeatNZ, the dairy industry and DeerResearch in the last three years.

“Farmers are prepared to continue to work with the consortium and with levy-funded bodies but they will not be bullied into bad research investments.

“The Minister’s take on the Abatement of Agricultural Non-Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Gas Emissions (O’Hara) report is wrong. Page 13 of this report actually recommends that $2.7 million of the proposed $8.4 million be paid for by Government.

“The Minister has also blindly accepted the report’s suggestion that $8.4 million is optimal. Federated Farmers finds this recommendation remarkable given that the scientists made no investment analysis whatsoever. They simply designed a very general research programme and costed it.

“Furthermore they did not look at current research to identify possible overlap or duplication.

“Farmers want the Minister to understand a bad investment is still a bad investment, no matter the size. Threatening farmers will not convince them otherwise.

“Farmers will continue to voluntarily fund good research but will not be forced into the serious misallocation of $42 million over five years” Mr Lambie concluded.

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