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MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries) is looking for proposals of projects that can and will investigate how regenerative farming practices take place.
Funding is accordingly available for proposals that become successful, and it is through MPI’s Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) as a co-investment funding source.
“There is increasing interest from farmers and the wider community about regenerative agricultural practices, but definitions for regenerative agriculture can vary dramatically,” says Steve Penno, MPI’s Director Investment Programmes.
“We’re looking to define what regenerative agriculture means from a New Zealand perspective, and develop a sound evidence base to test and confirm what works in our soils, climates, and farming systems.”
The Chief of MPI’s Science, Advisor Dr John Roche, says MPI sees broadly that regenerative farming as a setting tool of practices that could improve outcomes for the countries productive land. This includes fresh water and marine environments and animals.
“Regenerative agriculture is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ activity with prescribed inputs and outputs,” says Dr Roche, “and the farmers I’ve spoken with do not want it defined so tightly.”
“Some of the practices New Zealand farmers are already using could be considered regenerative. By determining which farming practices have a positive impact on environmental sustainability and human health and wellbeing in the New Zealand context, we’ll be able to confidently share these regenerative practices widely with farmers.”
“Regenerative agriculture also has the potential to help our food and fibres sector to produce higher-value products with even stronger environmental credentials.”
Funding for the new projects means MPI wants to enable several brand new outcomes which increases the resilience of production systems that impact the climate and reduces their environmental footprint.
Plant health and productivity, including improving water-use for efficiency, was also considered.
“We’re excited about what the future may hold in the regenerative agriculture space, and we encourage anyone who thinks their idea might be eligible to get in touch,” says Dr Roche.