11 Apr 2024

Efforts to create methane vaccine bolstered

9:34 am on 11 April 2024
Landscape shot of cows of farm

Photo: Adam Simpson

Efforts to create a methane vaccine are being bolstered with the establishment of a new 'vaccine venture'.

Kiwi scientists at AgResearch have been working to develop a vaccine which reduces the methane output from ruminants since 2007.

That 15 years of research is now being rolled into one entity which will be lead by industry, Government partnership called AgriZeroNZ.

AgriZeroNZ director Fraser Whineray said a methane vaccine is highly sought-after as a low cost, high-impact solution to reduce agricultural emissions and Kiwi scientists have done some ground-breaking work in this space over the years.

"We're confident this new venture will significantly boost their work and help get the vaccine into farmers' hands sooner."

AgriZeroNZ is investing an additional $1 million to set up the new venture which will operate as a standalone entity but continue to be co-funded by the joint venture.

Fraser Whineray, Hon Todd McClay, Wayne McNee Photo: Colin McDiarmid

AgriZero, a partnership between the government and industry players, ANZCO, Fonterra, Rabobank, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms and Synlait invests in projects to bring down on-farm emissions.

Celebrating a year of the joint venture in parliament yesterday, Fraser Whineray announced The a2 Milk Company, ANZ and ASB had come on as partners.

The three companies are putting $9 million of investment into AgriZeroNZ which will be matched by the government.

"Our partnership was set up to deliver a step change in investment to get emissions reduction tools into farmers' hands so we can meet these targets and maintain market access, Whineray said.

"I'm pleased more of the private sector is joining us to back farmers - reinforcing our ambition and demonstrating their commitment to ensuring farmers can reduce emissions and maintain their competitive edge on the world stage."

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