20 Feb 2012

Gold kiwi fruit cultivar may be too costly

6:41 am on 20 February 2012

Kiwifruit Vine Health says struggling growers may not be able to afford a new gold kiwifruit cultivar which may offer hope to the disease-hit industry.

KVH says it is aiming to have the new Gold 3 variety ready for growers to graft this winter.

Psa has now infected a third of the country's kiwifruit orchards - most in Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty, where it was first found more than a year ago.

The once lucrative Hort16A gold variety has proved more susceptible to the vine disease than the green or Hayward variety.

KVH general manager John Burke says so far Gold 3 has shown the highest level of tolerance to Psa and two others, Gold 9 and Green 14, have also shown some tolerance.

Mr Burke says he is quietly optimistic they will be the replacements the industry needs - if growers can afford them.