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New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions

Christian Fernsby ▼ | October 13, 2020
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.
Carlos María Uriarte
Uruguay   Carlos María Uriarte
The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA). It aims to boost production and utilisation of pastures by at least 30 percent on farms in the Southern Cone and Central America.

Topics: New Zealand Uruguay

It will use drones and simulation models to measure and monitor pasture growth and implement a cloud-based service to provide information to more than 4,000 producers to help them optimise pasture management and increase forage production.

Despite their small land areas, New Zealand and Uruguay occupy the 6th and 8th positions for beef exports and 2nd and 9th positions for sheep meat exports, respectively.

The new project aligns with the objectives of the Agricultural Cooperation Agreement between the two countries. This agreement aims to boost research and collaboration between scientists working on sustainable agricultural and pastoral systems, from organisations such as INIA in Uruguay and AgResearch in New Zealand.

New Zealand is backing the new project through the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), as part of its support for the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA).

The new project is one of a number supported by MPI, the result of a 2019 research competition organised by the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology for Latin America and Caribbean (FONTAGRO), a strategic partner of the GRA.

Over the last 30 years, Uruguay has significantly reduced its emissions intensity by more than 20 percent, mostly from improving pasture quality through improved grazing management.

As part of joint efforts, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Uruguay will be organising a virtual Fieldays early in 2021, which will be of interest to farmers, agribusiness, and others in both countries.