Peter Wren-Hilton

Global Investors look to NZ agritech to develop Disruptive Technologies in Nutrients

On 31 August, Farm2050, the global collective of leading agritech venture funds and corporate agribusinesses, selected New Zealand as its first country partner as a first step towards creating an ecosystem that will allow Kiwi agritech companies to scale in a non-linear way.

Since then, Agritech New Zealand has been working closely with the Farm2050 collective to identify strategies to address some of the really big challenges facing both New Zealand and worldwide agriculture. Following recent discussions, we are therefore delighted to advise that Innovation Endeavors and Finistere Ventures have decided to collaborate on leading the first major Farm2050 project focused on disruptive technologies in nutrients, both from a standpoint of application, measurement and efficiency, as well as novel nutrient technologies such as microbiome/soil health technologies. This will include accelerating trials around nutrient measurement, new products and methods of delivery as well as approaches to managing and mitigating environmental impacts such as runoff.

From Agritech New Zealand’s perspective, this initiative addresses some of the key issues facing the country’s primary sector. Over the coming weeks we will be sharing further detail around this first project and invite New Zealand research organisations, government agencies and the private sector to engage in shaping its scope and focus, as well as participating in its execution. Working directly with globally connected capital and some of the largest international agritech businesses will enable New Zealand’s agritech community to accelerate this activity in ways not seen before.

As part of our wider Farm2050 strategy, Agritech New Zealand will be organising field trials and partnering with industry stakeholders to work on specific areas of need, initially focusing on nutrients, automation and the creation of a “digital academy”.

On a recent conference call with the collective, I spoke to the innovation leads of many of the world’s largest agritech firms. These included Bayer CropScience, Syngenta & Corteva. Scaling New Zealand’s agritech sector with connected capital and access to these multinational partners is critical if we are going to not only contribute to feeding 10 billion mouths by 2050, but in ways that are sustainable and friendly to the environment.

Identifying New Zealand disruptive technologies in nutrients is a great place to start.

Imaged sourced: Chesapeake Bay Program

Peter Wren-Hilton Peter is Executive Director of Agritech New Zealand and founder of Wharf42 in Tauranga. Peter helps organise major agritech conferences in New Zealand and offshore and connects early stage New Zealand agritech companies with international markets.