NZ Kiwifruit Industry Announces Aggressive Psa Industry Management Strategy

Media Release - 18 November 2010

New Zealand kiwifruit growers will today hear details of a $50 million joint government and industry investment towards the aggressive management of the bacterial vine disease, Psa.

The kiwifruit Industry Advisory Council (with grower, post-harvest and ZESPRI representation) is consulting with growers around the country regarding the industry management strategy for Psa, which includes a $25 million contribution from the New Zealand Government, and $25 million from industry.

The strategy provides some assistance for affected growers to take aggressive action on their orchards to reduce the level of the bacteria and minimise further spread, and lower the potential losses from Psa.

The investment in this partnership demonstrates the government’s commitment to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry and the continued development of the long-term managementstrategy for Psa.

In the past 12 days, since ZESPRI first found out there was a suspected case of Psa in New Zealand, the New Zealand kiwifruit industry has acted urgently to pull together and agree that the only prudent approach is to take an aggressive strategy to managing Psa.

Background

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand (MAFBNZ) confirmed last week that the bacterial vine disease, Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae (Psa), is present on kiwifruit orchards in New Zealand. The number of affected orchards is 31, which represents less than 1 percent of the New Zealand industry.

The New Zealand crop is entering the main growing period for the 2010/2011 season; vines have flowered and are being pollinated. Over 99 percent of the vines are looking great, so ZESPRI remains confident of a very good season ahead.

Psa is a bacterial vine disease that carries no risks associated with human or animal health, and does not affect plants other than kiwifruit vines. Psa has been present in Italy, Korea and Japan for many years but has not previously been detected in New Zealand.

Because Psa is not transmitted on kiwifruit, there has been no change to market access for New Zealand kiwifruit.

The New Zealand kiwifruit industry is a strong and coordinated industry, working well together, and is confident that this issue will be overcome to ensure a prosperous future for the industry.

Back to Newsroom