A proposal for agribusiness to be taught as a high school subject is being welcomed by an agricultural academic.

Generic Library / StudentsPublic feedback is being sought on the changes put forward (File image). Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller


As part of a suggested overhaul of NCEA subjects, the Ministry of Education has proposed developing agribusiness as a separate subject to business studies.

Public feedback is being sought on the changes put forward, with consultation set to close in early August.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said some proposals were intended to recognise learning already happening in schools.

Lincoln University agribusiness and commerce dean Hugh Bigsby said when students had learned some agribusiness in high school, it made a big difference when they picked up tertiary study.

“If you’ve done Year 13 agribusiness, a lot of the things you would’ve been introduced to in high school are things we have to introduce in first year university because most of the students we have coming in have not had that exposure at all.

“So you’re actually having students coming in who have had a good dose of all that.”

Bigsby said adding the subject could offer more options for rangatahi looking to start careers in agriculture, not just on-farm.

“Having agribusiness as part of the high school curriculum where it’s the consumer value chain end of it, rather than the on-farm focus, makes sure that we’ve got opportunities for high school students to look at the full value chain,” he said.

“To me, it’s a great thing.”

The ministry hopes to have the NCEA subject changes rolled out in schools in 2024.