Meat & Livestock News

NZ Meat Board Allocates $1.7m to Agricultural Research

The NZ Meat Board has committed $1.7 million to support advancements in beef genetics and the management of facial eczema in livestock. This funding will be distributed between two key projects, with the Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) genetics initiative receiving $700,000 and up to $1 million going to the Eliminating Facial Eczema Impacts (EFEI) project.

The decision was made following discussions with sheep and beef farmers on the best use of the dividends and interest from the board’s $79 million reserve fund. This fund aims to enhance projects beneficial to the industry.

Significant Support in Challenging Times

Kate Acland, Board Chair, highlighted the significance of this investment during tough financial times for the sector. She noted that the genetics improvement programme is poised to significantly increase productivity and profitability for beef herds, with an expected boost to sector profits of $460 million over the next 25 years.

Combatting Facial Eczema

The EFEI project is designed to equip farmers with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively combat facial eczema. This initiative not only aims to improve animal health but also enhances productivity across the red meat and dairy industries.

Board’s Broader Role

Acland outlined the board’s threefold role, emphasising its effort to maximise returns from international exports of sheepmeat and beef. The board oversees $2.6 billion in exports to quota markets in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, achieving significant tariff savings for the sector.

The funds are part of a broader strategy where the board, after covering reserve expenses, consults with farmers to allocate resources for projects that drive industry progress, like INZB and EFEI.