Three years of research by a Bay of Plenty company has found that kiwifruit orchards store a significant quantity of organic carbon in the soil.
PlusGroup Research received funding from the former Ministry of Agriculture's sustainability farming fund to do the research, which investigated soil samples from more than 120 kiwifruit orchards across different growing regions.
Research manager Allister Holmes says the initial aim was to understand the carbon cycle in kiwfruit orchards.
He says the study concluded the kiwifruit industry sequesters about 90,000 tonnes of carbon a year.
This finding could be of considerable benefit to the kiwifruit marketer Zespri and may lead to significant savings for growers as well as ecological benefits.
He says the findings are also relevant to tree crop industries such as avocado, pipfruit and summerfruit.