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NZ Agritech Sector Worth NZ$1.2 billion

15 January 2015, at 11:04am

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand's agritechnology sector was worth approximately NZ$1.2 billion in 2013 according to new research into the size, value and future potential of the sector.

The report shows that the New Zealand agriculture sector plays a significant role in the economy and New Zealand’s expertise in pasture-based production has made it the world leader in the efficient and low cost conversion of pasture to protein, and the systems that surround it.

Research completed in late 2014 shows that New Zealand is also emerging as a leading provider of agricultural technology solutions, with broad offerings across the on-farm supply chain.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) commissioned the research to better define the products and services included in the sector, and to determine the value of the wider agritech sector to New Zealand’s economy and its comparative strength in an international context.

New Zealand’s agritech sector is made up of a diverse range of products and services, including animal and seed genetics, fertiliser and agri-chemicals, fencing supplies, farm tools, machinery and systems, and pumping and irrigation.

Of the $1.2 billion in agritech exports, the research shows animal health products, medicines and preventative treatments for on-farm use were the largest export earners at $311 million. This was closely followed by fencing supplies and equipment, and machinery and systems, each worth $307 million in export sales.

Export sales are set to increase as key export markets indicate strengthening demand for New Zealand agritech solutions.

Currently, Australia and the United States are New Zealand's top agritech export destinations but the research shows exports to Canada, China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are increasing.

New Zealand agritechnology companies continue to invest in research and development, demonstrating ongoing innovation and the development of creative solutions for on-farm problems.

These new products and technologies, which increase productivity and decrease costs, are then exported to the world.

The research also compares New Zealand’s agritech production with other similar sized agricultural nations including Israel and Ireland and found that New Zealand’s agritechnology sector is well positioned to take advantage of increasing global demand for meat and dairy.

The research was completed in September 2014 and was undertaken by Coriolis on behalf of NZTE.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said: “The agriculture sector plays a very significant role in our economy.

“This research shows that our innovative agritechnology systems generate very significant exports in their own right, and provide the opportunity to deliver much more for New Zealand in the years ahead.”

“New Zealand has historically underperformed in agritech exports compared with other advanced agricultural nations. However our exports are now growing more quickly than our competitors’, and opportunities for more growth exist across a wide range of markets. Europe, China and South America stand out as the biggest areas of potential growth.”

The removal of the dairy quota system is opening up opportunities in Europe and New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with China, along with China’s substantial demand for meat and dairy products, is providing New Zealand agritech companies with significant opportunities, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.

“New Zealand is one of the world's most efficient primary producers, and this report shows our expertise and technology in this area is in growing demand around the world.”

Animal health products, medicines and preventative treatments for on-farm use were the largest export earners at $311 million. This category was closely followed by fencing supplies and equipment, and machinery and systems, each with $307 million in export sales.

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