Tech to help improve NZ agricultural productivity

The New Zealand IoT Alliance believes new technological advances will significantly improve the country’s agricultural productivity

A study on the potential benefits of IoT (internet of things) last year found that better use of IoT in the agricultural industry could contribute more than $570 million to the New Zealand economy, Alliance executive director Kriv Naicker says. 

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 "An earlier study by the Sapere research group found that if New Zealand firms made better use of the internet, it could have a major impact on GDP, potentially lifting it by $34 billion," Kriv says.

He adds that the according to World Bank, the country’s agricultural productivity has slowed down in recent years, from 3.2% annually seen in 1991–2000 to 2.3% between 2002 and 2011.

The New Zealand IoT Alliance is collaborating with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment—and with support from the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment—to find information for a New Zealand arable farming IoT demonstration pilot project.

This pilot project is part of a wider project undertaken by MBIE that also covers tourism and construction sectors. The project will be carried out in Canterbury and will be studied by an independent research group to identify the benefits.

"Ultimately the pilot will bring together all vendors of technology to design solutions that work for farmers. The downstream effect should be better working relationships across industry, new and novel IoT solutions built with and for farmers that make a proven positive impact," Kriv says.

"Farmers seek decision support for farming and automation for compliance. As technology makes its way onto the fields in the future, more farm management will be done from a desk or device instead of in the field."

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