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Embracing technology the way to economic success for agriculture in New Zealand, industry leaders say

Combining agriculture and technology is the way to future economic success of agriculture in New Zealand, according to industry leaders.

The push comes as the technology sector grew more than a billion dollars in 2018.

"If we could automate some of the things that happen in horticulture like robotic pruning or robotic fruit picking, we'd have more horticulture production and less pressure on our rivers," Economic Development Minister David Parker says.

The agriculture industry's identified it needs to strengthen investment options, develop research and development and streamline Government support.

"We could use artificial intelligence to guide a cow around a farm, get rid of the fences, make the cows happier that sort of thing, that's a really interesting innovation," NZ Tech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

The workforce needs to be ready to move from low-skilled jobs like fruit picking to high tech, highly-paid roles.

It's hoped the first agri-tech initiatives will start next year.

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