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AgResearch's purpose is to enhance the value, productivity and profitability of Aotearoa New Zealand’s pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology sectors. Our aim to contribute to the economic growth of the country and help achieve positive environmental and social outcomes by utilising our diverse science capability - from farm systems to climate change mitigation and adaptation, to pest control and high value foods.

AgResearch is engaged in six main areas of research, food and bioproducts, plants and animals, climate change, sustainable farming systems, Kaupapa Maori-centred and transformational systems.
- Food and bio products: a science aimed at maximising the productive and profitable use of resources adding value to food ingredients eg, working with top New Zealand chefs to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create new food combinations and recipes to identify the ideal cooking conditions for meat and, working to identify a unique new way to make infant formula more like breast milk and better for babies by using ingredients that could enhance brain development and overall health,
- Plants and animals: a science at developing plant based food sources for animals which produce the best outcomes for both plant and animal growth eg, research into endophytes (fungi or bacteria) that occur naturally in some grasses used to feed livestock on New Zealand farms that can offer benefits such as deterring insect pests from feeding on the grasses, while minimising any negative health effects to the animals, so improving farm productivity overall and worth billions of dollars over time to the NZ economy.
- Climate change: a science that increases the resilience of food producing systems under a changing climate eg, because changes in climate will change the prevalence of pests, weeds and animal diseases, our scientists investigate ways to predict and manage these challenges and to work how much a farm can reduce its environmental footprint and still be profitable? If this footprint is still too much, then what other land uses are possible which are most profitable and most sustainable?
- Sustainable farming systems: a science to improve the performance of agricultural systems eg, providing farmers tools to enhance soil health, including identifying where regenerative agriculture practices can make a difference. Soil health impacts not only on-farm production and performance, but also the wider environment with improved fresh water and nutrient outcomes, support for biodiversity, enhanced soil carbon storage and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. As an experiment, two paddocks on each of 10 farms are to be dedicated to a comparison between conventional practices and regenerative practices, focusing on greater pasture diversity and reduced nitrogen fertiliser use. The findings will help respond to a need for evidence that regenerative practices can make a positive difference in sustainable food production.
- Kaupapa Maori-centred systems, ie building understanding between science and Maori knowledge systems, eg Mamaku (New Zealand Black Tree fern) has traditionally been used by Māori as a rongoā for treating various skin conditions, and clinical trials conducted by AgResearch and Ora Ltd have shown that mamaku extract has excellent potential for the management of eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. Further research and development is now being planned.
- Transformational systems: a science aimed at helping the world to transition to new, more efficient, productive and safer agri-food systems eg, He Waka eke Noa, a climate action partnership between Government and farmers aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the primary sector with the objective of working on a GHG reporting and pricing system to come into effect from 2024.

Activities on offer:

Agriculture and horticulture research


1365 Springs Road Lincoln 7674 Private Bag 4749 Christchurch 8140

Phone Phone+64 3 321 8800

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