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NZ: Future of kiwifruit industry is in new varieties and good management

Allan Dawson of Aongatete Advanced Horticulture, a family owned company in Katikati in the Bay of Plenty, that stores and packages locally grown kiwifruit has been speaking about the effects of PSA on the region. Despite the fact that the disease is presenting the industry with a tough challenge, Allan remains upbeat about the future.

"We've got PSA and it's a significant challenge for the industry. When it first arrived it turned our world upside down.

"It hit us at a time when the world economy is depressed, which added to the difficulty. However, it’s business as usual for most of us and we are still moving forward despite the realization we will have reduced volumes for the next few years.

Allan says that the gold harvest was only down slightly this year (although this reduction affected some suppliers far more than others) but there are expectations for a significant reduction in 2013.

"For 2013 the total crop is expected to be in the region of 80million trays instead of 100million trays, but we expect this to improve in a couple of years, as the new varieties start producing more.

"I think the real answer will be in breeding new varieties in the future, but right now we have to accept that this thing is here and manage as best as we can with what we have got. If we develop the right management programs we can keep going."

For more information:
Allan Dawson
Aongatete Advanced Horticulture

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