Climate change brings unexpected benefits to fruit growers

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Friday, 8 March 2019, 11:30AM

Climate change has brought some unexpected benefits to the fruit growing regions of New Zealand.

Our more tropical climate is seeing increasing opportunities to grow tropical fruit.

Head of tropical fruit growers of New Zealand Hugh Rose told Mike Hosking some areas are getting great results.

"We have been growing Pineapples and Bananas since the 1950s. There is no reason why we can't grow Banana's in the tropical areas of New Zealand, a lot of growers are getting some very good crops."

With tropical fruit needing constant warm and humid temperatures to thrive, Rose says there are only certain areas in the country which they can be grown.

"It is quite concentrated where you can grow them, Gisborne and Northland are the big areas where we focus on growing tropical fruit."

Rose says there are a number of enthusiasts on board and there should be enough bananas growing now for Northland to be self-sufficient in a couple of years."

"There are lots of different fruits, Banana's areĀ the number one crop for us. We are not trying to compete with the imports, it really is for more local boutique markets."

The average Kiwi eatsĀ around 18 kilograms of imported bananas every year, with a total value of about $140 million.

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