ARGOS 1 and 2 Agricultural Research Group On Sustainability


These projects were funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (formerly MSI (Ministry of Science & Innovation or FRST) and other Industry stakeholders. ARGOS has a mandate to examine the environmental, social and economic sustainability of New Zealand farming systems.

Description of the project

These projects provided a better understanding of the environmental effects, and the social and economic consequences of different farming practices and were aimed to help New Zealanders and their land-use systems achieve more appropriate and enduring accommodations with the New Zealand environment as well as continue to satisfy the demands of market and community stakeholders.

The goal of the ARGOS research is to facilitate innovation and improved performance in primary production systems.

High level planning

Project term 2003- 2012:

  • ARGOS 1 (2003-2009) – comparison of farming systems: organic, integrated, and conventional. 100 farms including Sheep/beef, kiwifruit, high country, Maori owned farms and dairy. Transdisciplinary research.
  • ARGOS 2.1 (2009-2011) – pathways to resilient farming: used data from ARGOS 1 to look further at the resilience of farms and farming systems.
  • ARGOS 2.2 (2011-2012) – review of drivers and demands for sustainability assessment and reporting and develop responses.

ARGOS is now working on other projects like SLMACC and NZSD. More information on

Research Partners

The Agricultural Research Group on Sustainability (ARGOS) is an unincorporated joint venture between the AgriBusiness Group, Lincoln University, and the University of Otago, with some other partners such as Landcare Research and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Commercial Partners

  • Sheep/Beef: CMP/ANZCO, MAF SFF
  • High Country: Merino New Zealand Inc
  • Kiwifruit: Zespri International
  • Maori: Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
  • Dairy: Fonterra

The AgriBusiness Group’s role and contact

Published on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014, under Research

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