The “mythology” of regenerative agriculture and lack of scientific evidence has prompted two renowned plant scientists to write to Ag Minister Damien O’Connor.
Research, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Megan Woods, after reviewing a business case this week has asked AgResearch to move to the next phase of designing new research facilities in the Canterbury township: this includes an implementation business case subject to further ministerial oversight.
AgResearch chairman Paul Reynolds said the ministerial support was a welcome step towards the science institute’s vision to transform the land-based research sector.
“Agri-business is evolving rapidly and transformational change is required to ensure farming in the future is able to harness the power of new technologies and remain environmentally and financially sustainable. We believe a new education, science and innovation precinct that fosters co-location with our commercial partners and the tertiary education sector will help us all meet this challenge together.”
AgResearch plans to independently own and fund the new facilities and recently entered into a conditional agreement with Lincoln University to purchase a parcel of land on Springs Road to build on.
Reynolds said AgResearch said new facilities in Lincoln would enhance collaboration with tertiary education and other research partners.
“This is potentially a large investment that will have positive flow on effects for the Lincoln area which is the home of land-based research and development. PGG Wrightson Seeds recently opened a new facility on our Lincoln campus and we plan to share our facilities to enhance collaboration with researchers from Lincoln University.
“Over the summer AgResearch will open a new building on Massey University’s Manawatu campus and it will be called ‘Te Ohu Rangahau Kai’. The name means a cooperative community of food researchers. Our new glasshouse containment facilities at Grasslands are also complete and our four-campus model is taking shape. The business has built strong momentum and is well-placed to further enhance its reputation for innovation and world leading science-led solutions.”