New agritech initiative to boost New Zealand production

Mapping for food security wins Olam innovation prize
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ panuwat phimpha

A new three-year agritech initiative designed to validate new technologies in nutrient analysis, delivery, efficient uptake and environmental mitigation in New Zealand launches next week.

Peter Wren-Hilton, Chief Executive of members-funded organisation AgritechNZ, says New Zealand is taking a global lead on bringing cutting-edge technology to Kiwi farming.

“This major project will bring together widespread knowledge and resources to advance the mission of Farm2050 so we can help feed the planet sustainably and affordably,” he says.

“With the need to feed the world’s population of 9.8 billion people by 2050, AgritechNZ is looking at ways New Zealand can scale up its food production to meet the growing global demand.

“Global food systems will need to transform at an unprecedented speed and scale so this event next week will seek to explore and confirm the power of innovation and technology to meet the greater demand on food production.”

He added: “We also have to take into account sustainability and climate change; healthy diets, meat alternatives and nutrition; market efficiency; and shaping a national strategy for the future of food.”

“Increasing scrutiny of environmental impact on farms has raised the need for remediation and analytics to meet increasing and stricter regulatory requirements.

“Growth in the New Zealand dairy sector since the mid-1980s has seen nitrogen fertiliser use increase 10 times, while farm energy inputs doubled over the last 20 years and has led to a negative regulatory and public reaction to fertiliser over-use.”

The initiative will be revealed at the Agritech Unleashed summit next week where leading global experts will be outlining the three-year agritech initiative and why New Zealand will be taking a lead role and how players in the nutrient sector in New Zealand can take part.