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Strands and curriculum structure

Agribusiness has four strands. A balanced teaching and learning programme would include aspects of all four strands.

Agribusiness strands


The innovation strand develops knowledge and understanding of future proofing the primary industries in current and/or future issues that affect the viability of an identified business such as food safety, climate change, loss of biodiversity, global economic trends, over exploitation of natural resources, food losses and waste, the social importance of transforming individual poverty to community wealth, the power of social media to spread knowledge and ideas rapidly, and the globalisation of trade. Students will understand what external factors affect agribusinesses such as economic, physical/climatic, political, environmental, technological, historical, social, ethical, and cultural. Students will provide innovative solutions and strategies for future proofing the primary industries from these external factors. The impact of external factors on agribusinesses need to be predicted, prevented, limited, minimised, or corrected to ensure that they meet present needs, remain viable, protect the environment without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, and maintain New Zealand’s reputation.

Science and Technology

New Zealand is a country whose economy depends predominantly on the use of organisms derived from its primary production. For New Zealand to remain competitive in local and/or international markets, the industry needs to be able to make use of new organisms, develop new products, alter production and processing methods and use new technologies with existing organisms to meet future needs. The science and technology strand develops understanding of the importance of new organisms and their continual development through scientific and technological concepts, skills and knowledge of the primary industry. Students will recognise the need to apply these to agribusinesses to meet consumer and producer future and current needs, resolve their issues, develop new markets and provide consumers with safe, convenient and/or nutritious end products.  

Management and Finance

The primary industry is affected by its cyclic nature of production due to physical and biological factors and price instability caused by changes within the markets for primary products and the actual physical primary product. Agribusinesses need to have an understanding of the cause and effect relationship for them to succeed such as consumer demand and supply, exchange rates on cash flow forecasting and be aware of revenue and expenditure and how they interrelate as it affects profit and viability of the business. The management and finance strand examines the decision-making by agribusinesses in the primary industry, such as their chosen business structure, predicting cash flow forecasting and analysing capital strategic expenditure. It is concerned with the future rather than the past, attempting to predict and mitigate what will happen if external factors come into play and what action could be taken. 


The marketing strand explores the concepts of marketing and growing value within the primary industry, the ability to be able to make informed decisions that enhance and add value to any primary products and secondary products or services derived from primary products. Having an understanding of the whole value chain ensures present and future agribusinesses being able to sell products or services for higher return. Capturing more value and marketing the product is important to agribusinesses to ensure their survival, their global, national or regional importance and growing New Zealand’s economy. Students will develop understanding of the effects that market needs have on an agribusiness in the short and long term and how current and future focussed innovation within the value chain provides greater value to the business.

Curriculum structure

Learning objectives

Through learning in these strands, students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

Strand Level 7 Level 8
Innovation 7-1 Examine the impact of influences on agribusinesses to meet present and future needs, viability, and protection of the environment. 8-1 Critically examine innovative solutions and strategies for future proofing agribusinesses to meet current and/or future needs.
Science and Technology 7-2 Examine how scientific principles, concepts and knowledge are applied in agribusinesses to ensure present and future primary and secondary production. 8-2 Critically examine how scientific principles, concepts and knowledge in agribusinesses are used to meet consumer and producer needs, resolve their issues and develop new agri-technological advances.
Management and Finance 7-3 Examine decision-making by agribusinesses in the primary industries in determining their business structure and carrying out cash flow forecasting to meet their strategic needs or keeping their businesses viable.   8-3 Critically examine strategic decision making by agribusinesses when making strategic capital expenditure decisions to meet their strategic needs or keeping their businesses viable.
Marketing 7-4 Examine decisions in agribusinesses that enhance and sustain local and/or national production and enterprise. 8-4 Critically examine how agribusinesses capitalise on opportunities to grow the value and sustainability of their products globally.

Last updated December 15, 2017