New Zealand kiwi industry to form PSA-focused organization
The new organization does not yet have a name, but will bring together representatives from Zespri, post-harvest suppliers, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) and the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
“Affected growers are understandably seeking details regarding their eligibility for financial assistance, so we anticipate that one of the new organization’s first priorities will be to confirm the details of the financial assistance package, including eligibility requirements and the application process.” Carol Ward, Zespri director corporate and grower services, said in the statement.
The organization comes as the country’s kiwi industry is shifting its focus from how to contain or eliminate the disease to how it will live with its presence.
A total of 80 orchards have tested positive for PSA. The majority of them, some 76%, are within 23 kilometers of the Te Puke township area.
However, according to Zespri, in most cases of infected orchards, the disease has been caught early.
“Around 95 percent of the infected orchards are only showing the initial symptom of leaf spotting, and thankfully have not progressed to the more severe symptoms which indicate vine health is impacted,” Ward said.