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Powered by Place: The Future of Farming is Here!

Discover the future of farming right here in New Zealand!  Meet Kiwi agritech innovators Darryn Keiller, Jason Wargent and Tijs Robinson. They’re helping change how we feed the world.  View now.

Rolling pastures, dairy cows contentedly chewing the cud, thousands of sheep on a high country station or juicy stone fruit freshly picked from an orchard.  The new reality for farming is very different as food production transitions to an efficient indoor model using tech, data and innovation.  It’s a business model, combining ground breaking science and innovation technology that is going global.

The perfect storm

The urgency for more sustainable growth of fresh produce is being driven by changing consumer preferences, greater awareness of environmental impacts and carbon footprints.

“The need for the industry to transform is obvious.  We have to move towards a digital and data driven model that is less reliant on knowledge workers and manual labour.  It’s not just about technology, it’s about how we farm and grow our food.  We’ve got to change,” says WayBeyond’s Darry Keiller. 

“We’re trying to solve these really gnarly global problems,” he says when describing the challenge of working with the horticulture industry to sustainably grow food to feed the world.  Read more.

Baked-in benefits 

While WayBeyond is focused on bringing growers into the data age, BioLumic is shining a light on the untapped potential that exists in the crops we grow.  Their world-first tech delivers ultralviolet light to trigger biological mechanisms that increase plant growth, vigour and yields. 

“We can come up with a light recipe to unlock a plant’s potential at different stages, starting with the seed.  We call it a light recipe because it’s essentially like baking a cake.  You need to combine the right ingredients for the magic to happen,” he says, adding that it requires a paradigm shift. 

“We’re building a whole new biological understanding and biology is hard.  But you have to ride the roller coaster if you want to have a real, meaningful impact on the world,” says Jason.  Read more.

Carbon champions

Currently, most greenhouses use natural gas to generate the carbon dioxide (CO2) they need to feed their plants.  But locally and worldwide, there is a push to move away from fossil based fuels to more renewable sources.  Hot Lime Labs has a solution, converting wood waste biomass into clean CO2 for commercial greenhouses.

“We’ve jumped on the wave at the right time.  The world is looking for clean, green solutions; the climate’s not going to become more predictable, land prices aren’t going down and the demand for fresh fruit and vegetables is not going to reduce.  These trends are only going in one direction,” says Hot Lime Lab’s Tijs Robinson.  Read more.

We’d love to hear your stories!

Is connection to the land important to you? What does ‘place’ mean to you and your business? It might be where you grew up, where your business is based, or the unique characteristics of the region you live in. 

We’d love to hear your stories to help inspire other Kiwi agritech entrepreneurs.  Please contact us.

Ngā mihi

Brendan O’Connell

NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.