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Mayor Endorses School Pipfruit Pilot

Mayor Endorses School Pipfruit Pilot

A hands-on school pilot project involving Hastings Intermediate pupils “owning” a block of Fuji trees is a real initiative showcasing the importance of nurturing potential career opportunities in one of Hawke’s Bay’s vital industries, Mayor Lawrence Yule said today.

“It’s a fantastic initiative and one which I believe will have a strong uptake by schools within Hastings district if introduced into the curriculum,” he said.

Pipfruit Growers New Zealand is the brainchild behind the pilot project, which has seen 100 pupils from the region’s first environmental school follow the pest monitoring quarter of the 2003 orchard year. The pupils created pheromone traps and counted bugs, as well as helped to make decisions regarding whether trees should be sprayed.

The pilot has been monitored by dedicated teachers and Massey University faculty who have developed an educational unit to fit within the existing school curriculum.

“Orcharding is a vital industry to the Hawke’s Bay economy and it is encouraging to see a proactive partnership form between industry and education,” said Mr Yule.

“PGNZI have taken the bull by the horns and invited growers and pipfruit industry leaders to become part of a futures project by helping to educate our growers of tomorrow.”

“They have my full endorsement,” he said.

The programme encourages children to understand the basics of pipfruit Integrated Fruit Production (IFP). Pipfruit IFP has lead to 60 percent fewer insecticides used on New Zealand orchards including a 90 percent reduction in organo-phostphate sprays and an 18 per cent reduction in fungicide applications.


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