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Focus on Agritech at Fieldays

Sarah Putt, Contributor. 11 June 2019, 9:03 pm

With the National Fieldays in Hamilton kicking off this week the focus shifts to Agritech, and this year a new initiative, Agritech Unleashed, will showcase what's happening in this burgeoning area of the local tech sector.

You would expect an agricultural country like New Zealand to have a natural advantage when it comes to agritech, so it's no surprise that it features as one of the highest growth sectors in the latest TIN report 'The Investor's Guide to the New Zealand Technology Sector'.

"Prevalent throughout New Zealand, agritech companies are creating innovative solutions to improve the productivity and efficiencies of the country's important farming, fishing, food, animal welfare, biosecurity, and forestry industries," the report notes. It cites Hamilton and the Central Region in the North Island as the two areas notable for agritech activity.

This report is from the same organisation that produces the TIN (Technology Investment Network) report which ranks the top 200 New Zealand tech companies by revenue. In the 2018 report there were 16 agritech companies in the top 200, with a combined annual revenue or $1.290bn.

According to the investment report, the agritech sector's growth is promoted by a strong primary industry, large regional centres of innovation and access to foreign market. The companies that are named as key contributors to the sector (along with their 2018 TIN Report ranking and revenue) are:

NDA Group: Specialty manufacturing and servicing of industrial storage and process vessels, TIN rank: 12, 2018 revenue $162.8m.

Livestock Improvement Corporation: Agricultural and software solutions, TIN rank: 6, 2018 revenue $236.4m.

Gallagher Group: Animal management, security and fuel systems, TIN 100 rank: 5, 2018 revenue $250m.

Argenta: Animal health products, TIN 100 rank: 19, 2018 revenue $114m.

Wyma Engineering: Post-harvest vegetable handling equipment and solutions, TIN 100 rank: 73, 2018 revenue $29.2m.

TracMap: GPS guidance and mapping system, TIN 100 rank: 175, 2018 revenue $6m (estimated).

Building on this foundation and finding ways to grow the sector further through collective initiatives appears to be the focus of Agritech Unleashed at Fieldays, which takes place on Thursday 13 June. Presentations include a preview of the New Zealand Agritech Venture Fund, the launch of the New Zealand Farm2050's Nutrient Initiative, and information about a new 'All-of-Government' Agritech taskforce.

You can find out more about the Fieldays programme here

You can download a copy of the 'The Investor's Guide to the New Zealand Technology Sector' here.


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