New advisory group on smart agriculture established

Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries

A new technical advisory group is being created to advise the Ministry of Primary Industries on how to accelerate the use of smart agriculture technology, Ministers Amy Adams and Nathan Guy have announced today.

“Technology has major potential to support higher productivity and more sustainable use of natural resources in farming,” says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

“It can be used in a wide range of applications such as using soil moisture sensors to fine-tune irrigation, monitoring animal health and fertility, and determining the perfect time to harvest fruit and crops. Monitoring and measuring is now an important part of managing natural resources sustainably.

“We know there are some exciting advances in agricultural science and technology coming from our CRIs and universities, as well as some great commercial tools already available. But for farmers, it can be difficult to know what tools are right for them, and to judge how much to invest.  We want to understand how we can better support farmers to make those decisions.”

The Government’s $2 billion rollout of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in New Zealand, and bringing improved connectivity to New Zealanders.

Amy Adams.
Amy Adams.

“We have major initiatives underway on both rural broadband and mobile coverage, and we want to ensure that we do what we can so farmers get access to the communications infrastructure they need,” says Communications Minister Amy Adams.

“While the Government can rollout world-class infrastructure, it’s up to New Zealanders to take up the opportunities that connectivity brings.”

Membership of the group will be confirmed before the end of the year and have broad representation from across the primary industries.

The announcement was made by the Ministers while hosting an event on smart agriculture at the Canterbury A&P Show last week.

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