Horticulture Keeps on Growing

17 May 2016

Onion Crate

It’s been a big year for growth in horticulture, with many of our products experiencing growth, both financial and otherwise.

Onions especially are having a very productive time; returns have increased by 50% since last year, from $81m to $125m. They remain our largest vegetable export, and third largest export across all horticulture, just behind kiwifruit and pipfruit. Onions New Zealand attribute this growth to an industry-wide productivity push, as well as the rise in profile of the often overlooked bulb.

It’s not just onions either; summerfruit and citrus are also reporting increases in productivity. After what has been an excellent growing season, both products have increased their yield per hectare, as well as a measureable growth in exports.

A recent survey by New Zealand Citrus Growers showed average production this season to be around 18 tonnes per hectare, with 1,659 hectares of citrus planted nationwide.On top of this, thirty-nine growers indicated they were planning to plant citrus over the next five years, which would add a further 86 hectares to New Zealand’s planted area, which could mean another 1034 tonnes of citrus.

We also had an amazing year for summerfruit, with a record 3390 tonnes of cherries exported this season, and plums being exported to China for the first time.

For horticulture this growth is also being experienced by apples, avocados and kiwifruit. It’s growth like this that is pushing us steadily closer to our goal of being a $10bn industry by 2020.


- Mike Chapman, CEO