10 Nov 2022

Horticulture research firm up for liquidation six years after $8.4m govt funding

12:23 pm on 10 November 2022
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A company which received $8.4 million of government funding to develop artificial intelligence for the horticulture sector has been put into liquidation.

PlantTech Research Institute Limited was awarded the funding by The Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment in 2016 to establish the company through until December 2022.

But company chairperson Mark Gilbert said the pipeline of research project revenue had dried up as its clients faced very tough seasonal and broader economic conditions.

He said the kiwifruit and apple sectors, in particular, were facing their worst season in 10 years - which was seriously impacting its ability to invest in innovation.

"It has unfortunately been the perfect storm, combined with the downturn in commercial revenue, the business is unable to survive without further government funding support, and we have been told that none is available."

The board therefore decided it had no option other than to make the prudent decision to appoint liquidators while the company still remains solvent, he said.

"The board's expectation is that by making this decision now, the business should be in a position to pay out full entitlements due to all staff and to the company's creditors."

Steven Khov and Kieran Jones of Khov Jones have been appointed by the company as liquidators.

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