For the past two years, Wharf42 has been contracting to NZTech to lead and manage Agritech New Zealand.
For Jacqui and myself, that journey had started a long time before. We had been engaging with kiwi and offshore agritech players since 2015 to lay down the foundations for the launch back in 2018.
The last two years have been a blast. We’ve seen the integration of the Precision Agriculture Association of NZ (PAANZ) into Agritech New Zealand; $11.4M of government funding to support the delivery and implementation of the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP); the emergence of some great global partnerships and connections, and a recognition that agritech has a key role of play in New Zealand’s economic recovery going forward.
We’ve also had the COVID-19 pandemic. During lockdown, Jacqui and I assessed the potential impact on New Zealand’s agritech sector. We received many calls for help from agritech businesses who were struggling to navigate the sudden downturn. Offshore market development plans were put into hibernation and business plans were being rapidly re-written. Whilst we put on a series of 8 webinars at lockdown levels 4 & 3, attracting over 2,200 attendees, and organised a sector wide survey on resilience, we knew we had to do more.
Ultimately that would require us to provide 100% focus on what I guess we do best. Based on our own background, we knew we had to look offshore to address the impact of closed borders and start re-engaging with our global networks on a full-time basis.
Wharf42 is once again the vehicle that will drive that engagement. Through this website and the blogs that we post, you can join us on our journey. We are incredibly optimistic about the opportunities facing our sector. By reaching out to our offshore partners and friends, we believe that New Zealand’s agritech community – industry, research & government – can take a global thought leadership role that will be truly ‘good for the world’.
It’s an exciting prospect and is one that we intend to deliver.
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