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140 million kilos exported in 2013

Netherlands pear harvest tripled

The production of pears has tripled in the last quarter of a century. The area of pear trees has increased by over 70 percent over the past 25 years, with the yield per ha doubling. On the other hand, the apple harvest halved. This was announced by Statistics Netherlands today.

Strong increase for pear
The pear acreage went up from 5 thousand hectares in 1989, to 8.6 thousand hectares in 2014. The pear is becoming increasingly popular among growers. Now, one hectare of pears yields 40 thousand kg, twice the amount as a quarter of a century ago. For the whole of the Netherlands, that's about 130 million 2.5 kg bags, thrice the amount as 25 years ago.

Apple tree area halved
Fruit growers increasingly opt for pears at the expense of the apple. In part, this has to do with market development, with the pear gaining popularity. The area of apples has halved over the past quarter of a century, to 7.8 thousand hectares. The yield per hectare doubled in the same period. In 2013, Dutch fruit growers, for the first time, produced more pears (327 million kg) than apples (314 million kg).

Doubling yields per hectare
Apple and pear growers are getting a better grip on the cultivation. This is shown by the doubling of yields per hectare in the past 25 years. To reach a higher production, more productive varieties are chosen, more trees per hectare are planted, and trees are felled when they produce fewer (good) apples or pears. An apple grower in 2014 still got more out of a hectare of apples (40 tonnes) than a pear grower (38 tonnes).

High export apples and pears

However, the pear doesn't seem to be that popular with Dutch consumers. Only two percent opt for a pear as a juicy snack, compared to the 16 percent who go for an apple. A large part of the fruit produced in the Netherlands is exported. The Dutch pear is popular abroad. Last year, 140 million kg of pears were exported, nearly twice as much as the export of apples.

Source: Statistics Netherlands
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