Investment in horticulture – development of Maori land
It's no secret that horticulture is experiencing growth largely through exports; 60% of our fresh fruit and vegetables are exported and horticultural exports have grown 40% in the two years since June 2014.
To continue that growth there needs to be continued investment developing land to grow export crops. Kiwifruit is one of the high performing export options with Zespri coming off a record-breaking 2016 season and releasing another 400 hectares of its gold kiwifruit variety SunGold this year with further 400 hectare releases planned for 2018, 2019 and 2020. This reflects the strong confidence of the markets in SunGold, with SunGold sales expected to around $900 million in the 2016 season. Zespri is confident that it can double total sales to $4.5 billion by 2025.
So making a decision to invest in growing kiwifruit is, based on Zespri’s analysis, a sound one. This is where Te Tumu Paeroa, in partnership with Quayside Holdings, come in, announcing a $30m investment programme to build 10 kiwifruit orchards on Maori land in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne over the next 18 months. This will be the single largest kiwifruit investment ever made on Maori land, and will turn over 90 ha of semi- and unproductive land into kiwifruit production, using a unique model developed by Te Tumu Paeroa. This model allows for ownership of the orchard to pass to the land owners between 12 and 17 years, with the expected return an outstanding $80,000 per hectare.
This will doubtless be the start of a number of investments not only in kiwifruit. but also in other horticultural export crops, further driving the increase in horticultural exports.
- Mike Chapman, CEO