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Key skills and competencies

Agribusiness programmes at levels 7 or 8 are based around realistic and practical contexts and provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and concepts to explore agribusiness issues and to communicate their ideas to others.

Agribusiness students develop the skills of planning, investigating, designing, drawing, model-making and capabilities in using digital tools and processes. They use creativity, logic, knowledge and problem solving to find innovative solutions to real-life problems, necessary for New Zealand to remain competitive in local, regional and international markets.

Learning programmes in Agribusiness aim to build the knowledge, skills, and experience that underpin economic and environmental sustainable primary production systems, through the understanding of scientific and technological principles to ensure marketable primary and secondary products and services.

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies five key competencies: thinking, using language, symbols, and texts, managing self, relating to others, and participating and contributing.


Agribusiness students need to be able to understand agribusiness theory with scientific concepts and technological know-how. The ability to be able to think creatively, critically and problem solve is important to future proof agribusinesses. These skills can be applied to shape actions, make decisions, and construct knowledge, to ensure students are able to capitalise on market opportunities that come along or to ensure that they are challenging current assumptions and perceptions. Students who are able to think outside the square, critically analyse, reflect, and evaluate decisions will be better equipped to be able to cope with any challenge in their enterprises that the future may hold.

Using language, symbols and texts

Agribusiness uses language and subject specific terminology from a range of areas, such as mathematical, scientific, technological and commerce, to communicate ideas, information and experiences. Students need to be able to use the appropriate language in the given situation to ensure they are able to communicate effectively, solve problems, create processes, and manage day to day operations, as this will improve their success in Agribusiness. Having cultural intelligence will also ensure that agribusiness and scientific or technological research are done successfully within different cultures.

Managing self

Agribusiness will provide the opportunity for students to be able to enhance their personal growth. Qualities such as being enterprising, self-sufficient, reliable, and resilient are required if they are going to be successful in an agribusiness. Through the provision of strategies and experience, students are able to set goals, high standards and gain motivation to ensure that they are able to future proof, meet challenges, act independently and be a part of successful agribusinesses. 

Relating to others

The ability to be able to relate to other people is essential in agribusiness, science and technology and across the whole chain in the primary industry. Agribusiness students need to be able to communicate with diverse groups of people, in different contexts and situations, both nationally and internationally. By developing the ability to actively listen, recognise different people’s point of view, negotiate and share ideas, they will be able to effectively cooperate and work together to determine their agribusiness success and that of others.

Participating and contributing

Due to the complexity and multi layered nature of agribusinesses, students need to be able to participate, contribute and be actively involved in their communities. This provides a sense of belonging and support which is required to ensure resilience to meet future local, national or global challenges. Agribusiness students need to be able to understand and balance the rights, roles and responsibilities of all people involved, to have social responsibility and to contribute to the quality and sustainability of social, cultural, physical, and economic environments. 

For further detailed information on alignment and links with the New Zealand Curriculum and other learning areas download:

Last updated December 15, 2017