Precision Ag Technology Helping New Zealand Agriculture Grow Faster
New Zealand has an enormous opportunity to use technology as a means to support the economic growth of its agri sector and become a world leader in a fast growing agritech market, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says on Scoop.co.NZ.
The country is achieving good agritech export growth rates relative to other nations. Global agritech investment is expanding rapidly, with VC investment in agritech firms in 2014 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. Agriculture is a big user and creator of technology,” Muller says. “Tech sector innovations are being adopted in many agricultural areas with examples such as the application of precision agriculture on-farm and industry-wide information capture and utilisation through activities such as the development of the Dairy Data Network.
“Reigniting productivity in the rural sector is critical for both farmer profitability and New Zealand’s global competitiveness. A trend of reducing agricultural productivity is typical across most other high-income nations, with one exception being the Netherlands. Despite being a third of the size of the North Island and having 26 percent of the country below sea level, it is now the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world by focusing on innovation and value-add.”