The horticulture industry has welcomed a $29.9 million boost allocated to agritech development in the sector in the government’s latest Budget.
This contribution provides much needed support that will drive higher paying jobs and new export revenues in the horticulture sector, said AgriTechNZ chief executive Brendan O’Connell.
“Technology is both the solution to threats on growing food in New Zealand and the answer to injecting greater impetus into the New Zealand economy, ” he said.
“This $29.9 million initiative will accelerate the development and adoption of technologies in horticulture and both position the sector for new levels of sustainable productivity and create a proving ground for the export of new technologies.”
The Horticulture Technology Catalyst initiative was created through the government’s Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) with a goal to grow the size and impact of agritech businesses in New Zealand and globally.
The initiative aims to ensure companies can collaborate and provide services and support to growers and the sector in NZ, as well as finding global opportunities that will fuel the investment required to solve some of the trickiest problems.
“New Zealand’s future will be limited if we just focus on the production of more food. Further prosperity will only come from commercialising the technology, systems and intellectual property that are not bound by the same constraints as our food systems. This is the double benefit of exporting our fruit and our technology too,” O’Connell said.
“We are pleased to see the government recognises the importance the agritech industry can have on the country’s economic value as we see massive potential across multiple areas including labour, education and community development.”