Agritech companies attracting millions

New Zealand agritech companies are attracting millions of dollars of investment, says AgriTechNZ chief executive Brendan O’Connell.

Remarkable progress is being made in new global partnerships, collaborations, investments and team growth, and this has set the scene for what he predicts will be a burst of growth in 2022 and beyond.

One innovator is Dunedin’s AbacusBio which last year announced its deepening relationship with Bayer Crop Science, in the area of predictive plant breeding.

“It’s a powerful partnership and an excellent example of New Zealand research and technology strengths having global impact,” Brendon O’Connell says.

In fiscal 2020, the Bayer group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 41.4 billion euros. Ag software leaders FarmIQ and Farmax have joined forces with AgResearch, in a strategic partnership combining research and commercial skills with both domestic and international potential.

AgResearch will become FarmIQ’s preferred provider of science and research going forward. FarmIQ will acquire Farmax and blend the teams.

The agricultural science integrated within Farmax makes it unique and has helped deliver real impact to the sector estimated to be $1.1 billion in increased gross margin over the last decade alone.

“Agritech startup Auckland orchard management software company Hectre is also positioning for global growth after attracting $3.5 million in new capital.

“The team is already trading in global markets and this vote of confidence will further empower them to build the team and bring new capabilities to fruit growers and packers around the world,” says O’Connell.

The company’s latest technology, Spectre, uses artificial intelligence to provide data for growers on fruit size
and colour and helps estimate crop yields.

The technology can also help with decision-making in fruit pack houses regarding storage, packing, sales, and waste reduction. Developed for apples, the technology is now also being used in the citrus industry.

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