7 Jul 2012

Call for government help for kiwifruit growers

10:39 pm on 7 July 2012

A Papamoa kiwifruit grower says the kiwifruit disease PSA needs to urgently be declared an adverse event so growers can be given help to stay afloat.

Rob Thode's orchard was one of the first to develop the disease in December 2010.

Mr Thode says growers need to be given the financial support to help them get back on their feet.

"We've had this massive disaster, we've put in everything we can - a lot of us have been selling anything we can to try and make ends meet."

Mr Thode says growers are not asking for a handout, just a hand to get back up and running.

"The benefits for our community and the country are huge."

The Ministry of Primary Industry says it is working with Kiwifruit Growers to gain a better understanding of the hardship they are facing.

A report commissioned by the ministry has concluded it should not have eased import conditions on kiwifruit pollen, which is being blamed for the outbreak of PSA.