Our Research

No-cost barriers

Motu, in coordination with Landcare and AgResearch, recently finished a three-year project seeking to better understand why some apparent ‘no-cost’ options for agricultural mitigation (reduction of biological greenhouse gas emissions) remain non- or under-adopted in practice.

We consider “no-cost mitigation options” to be investments, technologies or practices whose adoption:

  1. reduces the farm’s greenhouse gas emissions, and
  2. does not reduce the profitability of the farm.

This work is conducted in collaboration with INRA (France), Teagasc (Ireland) and SRUC (Scotland) research partners.

The research objectives were to:

  1. develop a typology of possible reasons (barriers) why under-adoption of no-cost mitigation options occurs
  2. test and verify the no-cost status of selected mitigation options using farm-scale empirical analysis
  3. explore with farmers (using interviews and a survey) if ‘no-cost’ options do exist, what are the barriers to their adoption, and how these could be addressed.

The research provides insights to improve the understanding of what sort of policies and/or market interventions could be implemented to foment the adoption of GHG mitigation options that could maintain an economically viable, while emissions-friendly, agricultural sector in NZ. This research included a combination of empirical analysis employing secondary data (farm-level data) and primary data (interviews and survey).


Funded by the New Zealand Government to support the objectives of the Livestock Research Group of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases