Climate change programme has changed farmer attitudes - MPI

Rural Exchange 08/09/2018

New Zealand farmers have dramatically changed their attitudes on climate change over the last 10 years, research suggests.

An independent review of 10 years’ worth of climate change research found that one of the biggest successes of the programme was a change in attitude across primary industries.

Established under the previous Labour Government in 2010, the Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) research programme has invested $50 million towards climate change research and how primary industries can help.

“There’s a quite different discussion when you’re talking to farmers now on the ground,” said Neil Williams, acting director of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Mr Williams told RadioLIVE that farmers now have “a real acceptance” of climate change and that it needs to be addressed.

“They just want the tools and the knowledge to make those changes to their systems themselves.”

On Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor launched a commemorative booklet to celebrate 150 research projects that have been funded by the SLMACC over the last decade.

One of the projects highlighted was a series of nationwide workshops to educate rural professionals on climate change and region-specific concerns. 

Watch the full interview with Neil Williams above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.