17 Aug 2010

Millions invested in dairy, meat research

3:21 pm on 17 August 2010

The Government is putting $144 million into new research for the primary industry, its biggest investment in the sector in decades.

The contribution by the Government's Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) will make up nearly half of the cost of two research and innovation projects proposed by dairy and meat exporters, while industry groups will spend another $177 million.

The dairy research will look to boost on-farm productivity and environmental sustainability, as well as research on consumer needs.

The meat initiative aims to turn the meat industry's production-led approach into a market-led one.

Fonterra and industry body Dairy NZ will lead the dairy research, while the meat programme involves Silver Fern Farms, rural services firm PGG Wrightson and state-owned farming enterprise Landcorp.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says both these programmes will take the primary sector to a new level and will significantly boost New Zealand's economic growth.

Dairy NZ chief executive Tim Mackle says the research will be able to be applied to all primary industries.

"We want to develop foods which will provide a range of health and wellness benefits, taste good, are convenient, provide value for money and are produced in a sustainable manner."

Silver Fern chair Eoin Garden says the research will test what consumers want in their meat and develop ways for farmers to produce the exact meat each specific market wants.