12 Apr 2012

Trust fund to focus on exports to emerging markets

6:33 am on 12 April 2012

Export businesses trying to break into emerging Asian markets are set to benefit from a change of funding priorities by an agricultural trust fund.

The Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust has issued its spending priorities for the next three years.

AGMARDT distributes up to $3 million per year by way of grants from a $70 million investment fund, to encourage growth in the agri-business sector.

Chairman Jeff Grant says three-quarters of that funding traditionally goes to Lincoln and Massey universities.

But the bulk of the funding will now be directed to commercial ventures, focused on market access.

The trust is organising a programme that will bring together about 20 key chief executives in the agriculture sector to spend a week looking at where New Zealand could go in terms of agribusiness and what opportunities there are in the Asian market.

Mr Grant says discussions are underway on developing the programme, which AGMARDT hopes to launch in May.

AGMARDT has allocated $60 million to the agri-business sector since 1987.