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Growth In Horticultural Activity

The area of land used for horticulture has increased over the last decade from 87,800 hectares at 30 June 1990 to 128,100 hectares at 30 June 2000, according to provisional results from Statistics New Zealand's latest horticultural survey. This, the first horticultural survey since 1996, has been conducted jointly by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The increase in land used for horticulture is reflected in horticultural exports, which have increased by over 50 per cent between 1990 and 2000. Horticultural exports for the year ended June 2000 were almost $1.7 billion.

Land planted in wine grapes contributed the largest single increase to horticultural land use. The provisional estimate for the area planted in wine grapes at 30 June 2000 was 12,500 hectares which is more than double the area recorded in 1990. Increased planting has been particularly evident in Marlborough and Hawke's Bay.

At 30 June 2000 there was an estimated 12,000 hectares planted in kiwifruit. This compares with 11,900 hectares at 30 June 1995 and 17,500 hectares at 30 June 1990. Kiwifruit growing is becoming increasingly concentrated in the Bay of Plenty, the region reported to have the most favourable growing conditions. Between 1995 and 2000 the area planted in the Bay of Plenty, as a proportion of the total area planted, rose from 67 per cent to 74 per cent.

Provisional results indicate that the area planted in apples at 30 June 2000 was 14,000 hectares. This is more than the area recorded in 1990 of 11,300 hectares but less than the 1995 estimate of 15,900 hectares. Kiwifruit and apples are New Zealand's biggest export earning crops.


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