Global Research Alliance (GRA)

Climate change and the increasing need to feed a growing global population are the 2 greatest challenges facing agriculture. These challenges also provide good opportunities for New Zealand's agriculture-based economy.

The GRA at a glance

All 48 GRA member countries – shown in dark blue.

The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) brings countries together to find ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions.

It was formed in 2009 to increase international cooperation and investment in research activities. The GRA has 48 member countries – including many of the world's major agricultural producers.

MPI supports GRA's goals 

The Alliance hopes to:

  • reduce the emissions intensity of agricultural production systems
  • find more opportunities to increase the potential for soil carbon storage – a process known as sequestration.

The GRA gives New Zealand scientists opportunities to collaborate with world-renowned institutes and researchers. It also allows them to share knowledge and expertise with the global science community.

MPI strongly supports and promotes the priorities and goals of the GRA. We contribute to collaborative research projects and scientific capability-building activities.

Our participation in GRA research

New Zealand:

  • co-chairs the Livestock Research Group
  • hosts the GRA Secretariat
  • participates in the Croplands and Integrative research groups

Find out more

Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research

To support the objectives of the GRA, MPI manages the New Zealand Fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research (GPLER). It aims to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from pastoral livestock farming through international research collaboration.

LEARN fellowships and GRASS awards

LEARN is an awards scheme sponsored by MPI. Its aim is to build international science capability in livestock emissions research.

We offer technical training awards, co-funded PhD scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships and senior scientist awards.

ICT-AGRI research call

New Zealand is participating in the European Union's Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)-AGRI call for transnational projects in farm management systems for precision farming.

ICT-AGRI is funded by the European Commission's ERA-NET scheme under the 7th Framework Programme for Research. The objective of an ERA-NET scheme is to develop the European Research Area by facilitating initiatives to coordinate regional, national and European research programmes in specific fields.

ICT-AGRI wants to provide opportunities for as many proposals as possible in this funding round. The call is open for any funding agency outside the ICT-AGRI consortium, including non-EU countries, with flexible conditions for participation.

MPI has made NZD$900,000 available to support New Zealand researchers who are part of successful ICT-AGRI proposals. These funds draw on the government's support for the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA).

World Farmers' Organisation study tour

NZ farmers Doug Avery (L) and Zach Mounsey (R) in Argentina during the 2015 study tour.

Every year, New Zealand partners with the World Farmers' Organisation (WFO) to hold an international study tour.

The tour builds a global network of farmers and farmer representatives who are:

  • committed to a better understanding of on-farm environmental management practices
  • supportive of sustainable productivity.

The WFO is a partner organisation of the Global Research Alliance.

Purpose of the GRA-WFO

The GRA-WFO study tour is intended to support farmer-to-farmer discussion on areas of interest and practice that can be applied both locally and internationally.

Specifically, the GRA-WFO study tour aims to:

  • increase understanding of agricultural greenhouse gas research
  • increase engagement in environmental management practices
  • support sustainable productivity.

2015 study tour

In 2015, the GRA-WFO study tour was hosted by Argentina.

New Zealand's participants were:

  • Doug Avery – a sheep and beef farmer from Marlborough
  • Zach Mounsey – a dairy farmer from Otorohonga.

The New Zealand delegates joined farmers from South Africa, Paraguay, and Uruguay on the tour.

2016 study tour

The 2016 study tour is being hosted by New Zealand – alongside a meeting of the WFO Board.

Board members and invited farmer representatives will participate in the study tour with the theme of "Skills and Tools to Address Climate Change Challenges".

Farmer representatives from WFO member organisations will be invited to meet with farmers, industry representatives, scientists and previous study tour participants in New Zealand.


New Zealand is participating in ERA-GAS – a European Commission co-funded call for research into the "Monitoring and Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases from Agri- and Silvi-culture" (farming and forestry).


  • for projects up to 3 years in duration
  • valued at around €13.9 million – around NZD $21.6 million
  • part of Horizon2020 – the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

MPI has made around NZD $1.25 million available to support New Zealand researchers who are part of successful ERA-GAS proposals. These funds draw on the Government's support for the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA).

Who to contact

If you have questions about the Global Research Alliance and New Zealand's involvement, email

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