New Zealand agritech industry commits to shared future despite government austerity

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“The government’s focus on efficiencies has cut so deep that it risks our collective capabilities and momentum in global partnerships,” said Brendan O’Connell, CEO of industry umbrella group AgriTechNZ, representing 180 New Zealand member organizations generating most of the sector’s $2 billion in revenue. He sees. despite recent government austerity measures that have reduced funding and shifted focus away from shared outcomes, the agritech industry remains steadfast in its commitment to investing in a collaborative future.

“While we acknowledge the need to eliminate wasteful spending, these cuts have hindered balanced collaborations between industry and government. The cuts remove muscle and not just fat.”

He explains on July 1st, the full impact of government cuts hits home, removing $5 million per annum from a sector generating 400 times that in revenue. The cut programs focused on fostering global relationship developments and resulted in a significantly increased presence in global markets.

O’Connell said the programs’ demise signals the need for a renewed approach to generating increased agritech innovation and exports. Greater collaboration among industry organizations will fill the void as government agencies pull back.

“We must now focus on directly supporting the work of industry associations to match industry commitment and ensure investments are used efficiently and effectively.

“Agritech is New Zealand’s oldest and most recognized technology sector globally, but it is getting less government support now than it has for a long time.”

AgriTechNZ’s five key initiatives to enhance sector growth include:

International Collaboration: Supporting New Zealand agritech innovators to engage with global scale partners, including listing their solutions on global partner services provided by the Australian government, promoting trans-Tasman collaboration.

Global Engagement: Proactively investing in global agritech activities in California, London, and Europe, enhancing international presence and cooperation.

Data Mobility Solutions: Developing improved data mobility solutions to reduce the need for double entry of crucial farm data, streamlining operations for farmers and agribusinesses.

Increased Industry Association Memberships: Supporting the growth of investments in industry association memberships, emphasizing the industry’s commitment to collective action and innovation.

Public-Private Partnerships: Fostering public-private partnerships (PPPs) to bridge the gap left by reduced governmental support, ensuring the continued thriving of agritech innovations.

“Despite the challenges posed by government cuts and the June 30 funding cliff, the agritech sector remains dedicated to a shared future aligned with the government’s goal to double industry revenue to $4 billion by 2030.”

“This commitment is evident in the collaborative spirit, private investment, grassroots initiatives, and strategic partnerships that drive the industry forward. I’m confident that a more effective and sustainable pathway to progress can be achieved by prioritizing the direct support of industry associations and collective action.”

For further information, please contact:

Brendan O’Connell
[email protected]
+64 21 369740

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