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A research centre dedicated to reducing agriculture greenhouse gas emissions has been opened in Palmerston North by Prime Minister John Key.
The Government's Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre will link with both national and international partners on research into agricultural emissions with government funding of $5 million a year for 10 years, he said.
In addition to funding the centre, the Government will host the New Zealand-led Global Research Alliance, which now comprises more than 20 countries, in April.
The alliance is an attempt to bring together international researchers from countries with a common interest in reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
"Agriculture is our biggest export earner but it also generates nearly half of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions, so we have everything to gain by putting the might of our agricultural research industry at the forefront of this international initiative," Mr Key said.
"New Zealand is acknowledged world-wide as a leader in agricultural science. Through the centre and the Global Research Alliance, we have the opportunity to pool our expertise with both developed and developing countries in order to find the most credible solutions to this pressing global issue."
Agriculture Minister David Carter said New Zealand must meet its international commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and support farmers to achieve this through new technologies.
The centre was announced in June last year. The partners running it with AgResearch are the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium, DairyNZ, Lincoln and Massey Universities, and Crown Research Institutes Landcare Research, Niwa, Plant and Food Research and Scion.