Bridging Malaysia’s Agri-Tech Market


The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is New Zealand’s economic development and trade promotion agency which is charged with helping New Zealand businesses grow internationally. While Malaysia has long been a key partner for New Zealand companies expanding abroad, agriculture is a glaring exception, despite NZ having a thriving agriculture sector and agri-tech scene. To solve this anomaly, NZTE partnered with Eden to explore agri-tech market opportunities in Malaysia, recognising this as both a business and social impact opportunity.


We brought a unique diversity of skills and knowledge to this assignment, blending our knowledge of systemic challenges in agriculture systems, expertise in user psychology and the complex factors influencing farmer adoption, and expertise on innovation-based business models and market development. Our holistic framework combined an in-depth exploration of top-down market trends with bottom-up farmer realities to identify use cases and target markets with the most potential for market success and adoption. We blended NZTE’s desire for a wide-angle study with enough granularity to make the study actionable. We:

  • Evaluated political, economic, social, environmental, and technological trends in Malaysia’s agriculture sub-sectors and built a quantitative model to prioritise five sectors with high potential for NZ agri-tech;
  • Conducted in-depth interviews with stakeholders across the value chain, including corporate directors, government agency leaders, industry experts, and farmers to understand key challenges and agri-tech gaps;
  • Applied our “Four A’s of Adoption” framework to critically evaluate the potential and target market for identified agri-tech solution spaces according to agri-tech advantage, affordability, awareness, and access.

The final deliverable consisted of a series of sector-specific reports for each prioritised agriculture sector analysed. Each report consisted of a market overview, in-depth problem analysis, matching of challenges to priority agri-tech use cases, a detailed go-to-market strategy including target market identification and potential matchmaking opportunities with local stakeholders, and detailed technology use case applications. NZTE have fed these reports into a NZ Government-led initiative to deepen the trade relationship in agriculture between New Zealand and Malaysia. The reports have also built a bridge for NZTE to connect their customers to business opportunities in the Malaysian agri-tech market.

Created with Sketch. Eden showed from the very first meeting that they were prepared to engage deeply with NZTE throughout the course of the project and were willing to flex and pivot the scope of the brief as the project evolved. A strong, clear timeline supplemented with regular research update calls ensured that we felt well-informed throughout. The Eden team were excellent to work with. The project lead was an excellent listener, always looking to tease out exactly what it was we were looking for to be included in the output. Her leadership and passion to deliver a great outcome ensured this was the result. This research aligns with a NZ Government-led initiative to encourage the broader volume to value development of the New Zealand agriculture sector. This report will play an important role in helping New Zealand businesses understand the opportunities and challenges posed by the Malaysia market.

Mr Simon Hearsey

Trade Commissioner for Malaysia and Brunei

New Zealand Trade Enterprise (NZTE)