What is the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan?

What is the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan?

The Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) was launched in July 2020 and set out the steps that Government and industry would take to accelerate the growth of New Zealand’s agritech sector. New Zealand’s agritech sector has historically been a significant contributor to increasing the sustainability and productivity of our food and fibre sectors. It is grounded in strong innovation and New Zealand’s excellence in food and fibre production. The ITP seeks to grow the agritech sector into an economic driver in its own right. This builds on the opportunity presented by a high-value sector with a strong regional presence and potential for growth.

Defining agritech

We use the phrase ‘agritech’ broadly. For the purposes of this document, the ‘agritech’ sector refers to manufacturing, biotech and digital-based technology companies that are creating product, service, intellectual property (IP) and value chain solutions for the agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, apiculture and seafood sectors, with the aim of improving yield, efficiency, profitability, sustainability, reliability, quality or adding any other kind of value. Forestry is excluded because forestry and wood processing is the focus of another dedicated ITP.

Agritech's broad applicability
Infographic of agritech systems.

The ITP is now 2 years into its implementation. It is timely to refresh its intent and actions to ensure our efforts are correctly focused to support the agritech sector’s growth as intended, and are clear to see and understand. This document is structured in the following way:

  • Part 1 sets out the ITP’s vision of the agritech sector and an overview of the ITP’s progress to date, including notable achievements and lessons learned.
    The ITP and agritech industry
  • Part 2 proposes the ITP’s refreshed plan for continuing the growth of the agritech sector by laying out the focus areas and actions under these key areas that Government and industry will progress.
    Action plan to accelerate the agritech sector's growth
  • Part 3 proposes a set of measures and indicators that will guide the evaluation of the ITP’s implementation going forward. 
    Measuring the ITP's progress

This ITP is 1 of 8 that have been launched under the Government’s Industry Strategy. Each ITP aims to work in partnership between government, industries, unions, and Māori to lift the productivity and growth of those sectors. Each of these ITPs is separately developed and implemented, but is closely aligned across the broader programme of ITPs. Particularly relevant to the Agritech ITP are the ITPs working respectively with Advanced Manufacturing, Food and Beverage, Fisheries, and Digital Technologies. This is due to agritech’s unique position in combining advanced technology and direct application into the food and fibres sectors. In refreshing the Agritech ITP, officials have therefore worked to ensure close alignment particularly with relevant other ITPs.

Through Budget 2020, Government committed $11.4 million to support the Agritech ITP. This has been further supplemented by $5 million through Budget 2022, which ensures that the ITP’s implementation is funded until the end of June 2024. 

To refresh this ITP, we have engaged with a number of key stakeholders across the agritech ecosystem, aiming to understand the sector’s views on the ITP, its progress to date, and where they considered further action or focus is required.

Last updated: 14 August 2023