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Thursday, 04 October 2012 15:25

$7m PGP funds for seed research

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Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) funding was announced today to pay for half of a $14 million research programme to deliver better seeds and plant species for farmers.

Proprietary seed company PGG Wrightson Seeds is leading the programme, working with a number of research organisations.

The PGP is committing $7.15 million over six years for the programme worth $14.6 million in total.

MPI Director-General Wayne McNee announced the funding for the new Seed and Nutritional Technology Development programme.

"The Seed and Nutritional Technology Development programme works on many fronts to ensure farmers will have access to the best pasture and forage crop technologies," McNee says.

"We are pleased to see innovative approaches that will address current challenges such as improving feed conversion efficiency, as well as taking the opportunity to mitigate environmental challenges such as soil erosion and drought stress."

Dr Derek Woodfield, general manager – research and development of PGG Wrightson Seeds, welcomes the funding announcement and says: "The PGP funding will allow PGG Wrightson Seeds and its research partners to focus on delivering a suite of new technologies that will keep New Zealand farmers internationally competitive."

Primary Industries Minister David Carter has welcomed the successful PGP bid which lifts the total allocated to around $600 million.

"In just three years, the PGP programme has worked with industry to develop some of the most exciting primary sector research and innovation proposals New Zealand has ever seen," says Carter.

"Co-funding of these projects by government and industry is what PGP is all about – a joint commitment to growing our economy through greater investment in R&D."

The PGP programmes currently underway cover sectors including wool, red meat, dairy, seafood, manuka honey and forestry.

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