Agri tech growing in New Zealand

by Anonymous Author

New Zealand’s primary industries need to latch on to technology faster to support the economic growth of its agri sector according to NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller.

NZTech represents more than 400 organisations across the country to promote technology use in various industries including farming.

Graeme Miller said a growing awareness of the value of technology in agriculture can be seen by the number of farmers looking into technologies such as drones, sensors and robotics, Muller says.

“A report by the IoT Alliance that looks into the economic value that IoT could bring the New Zealand economy, has identified that better use of internet technology by dairy farmers could potentially generate as much as $448 million worth of net economic benefit for New Zealand.”

Mr Miller said New Zealand is achieving good agritech export growth rates relative to other nations.

“Global agritech investment is expanding rapidly, with investment in agritech firms in 2014 being estimated at over $US2.36 billion making investment in agritech higher than fintech.

“With our traditional strengths in agriculture and our growing strengths in tech, this is an opportunity we should pursue with vigour.”

He said agriculture is a big user and creator of technology.

“Tech sector innovations are being adopted in many agricultural areas.

“Production costs have placed pressure on the competitive position of New Zealand agriculture in world markets. Reversing a slowdown in productivity growth is critical given the challenges the sector faces with strengthening environmental regulation. “Digital agriculture, in the form of precision farming, big data, sensor technology and drones, delivers a new potential for productivity gains across rural New Zealand,” Mr Muller said.

The tech sector is New Zealand’s third largest export sector, worth over $6.3 billion in 2015 and employing five percent of the New Zealand workforce.