7 Jun 2013

KVH seeks new managers for abandoned kiwifruit orchards

11:00 am on 7 June 2013

The organisation charged with managing the kiwfruit bacterial disease PSA is looking for new managers for 47 abandoned orchards.

PSA was first detected in a Te Puke orchard in 2010 and has had a devastating financial effect on many kiwifruit orchards owners.

Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) views abandoned orchards as high risk sites, where untreated, uncontrolled kiwifruit plants act as incubators for the bacteria and threaten the recovery of neighbouring orchards.

Chairman Peter Ombler says KVH believes many of the abandoned orchards could be turned back into viable businesses with careful management or new varieties.

He says one way to reduce or eliminate the PSA risk could be to bring the orchards back into one economic unit.

Mr Ombler says they could be leased by either post-harvest facilities or other growers. He says the last resort is to chainsaw them out.