14 Sep 2015

Avocado congress should 'raise industry profile'

6:48 am on 14 September 2015

The World Avocado Congress get underway in Peru today.

avocado

Photo: 123RF

The congress is held every four years and New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular, who is in Peru, said it was a great opportunity to raise the profile of the industry.

Ms Scoular said the congress, which runs for a week, allows countries to share science and research information. She said tree productivity and irregular bearing of avocados would be a hot topic because it was a global issue.

"Avocados, it's still a reasonably naive crop in New Zealand. We're still making some big changes in terms of how we're growing avocados and our growers used to plant avocados sort of quite well spaced to allow them to grow to 6, 8, 10, 12 metres high.

"We're now hearing and learning that much more closely planted avocados, pruned much more often and regularly, are going to drive better productivity for each hectare. So just understanding what people are doing to do that."

Jen Scoular said the 2014/15 avocado season was a record crop for New Zealand, with 7.1 million trays harvested, up from 6.1 million the previous year.

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