Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Manuka honey sector gets boost with trial expansion

Manuka honey sector gets boost with trial expansion


The lucrative Manuka honey healthcare market is set to expand after New Zealand’s largest farmer, Landcorp Farming, announced it’ll be planting an additional 93 hectares of mānuka honey trees.

The new plantings are part of the High Performance Mānuka Plantations programme — a seven year Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) between the mānuka honey industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to increase the yield and reliability of supply of medical grade mānuka honey.

The PGP trials, involving Landcorp, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Comvita, Aborex Industries, Don and Conchita Tweeddale and Nukuhau Carbon Ltd, were launched in 2011 to increase the value of the mānuka honey industry from an estimated $75 million towards $1.2 billion per annum by 2028. Maori Trustee Te Tumu Paeroa is also a shareholder in the programme.

Phil McKenzie, Landcorp’s General Manager for Property and Environment, said the addition of Landcorp farms in the Wairarapa, Canterbury and Te Anau would double the PGP programme’s capacity to conduct commercial field trials.

“The antibacterial quality of manuka honey when used topically is well understood. But there’s little known about why the strength and consistency of these properties varies.

“These trials are designed to test different ways of boosting mānuka honey production through planting of the shrubs in different environments and climates. The intention is to come up with ways to specifically breed and cultivate the crop. At the same time, we’ll also be testing the use of mānuka on the farm for riparian planting and as a shelter for stock, testing this alongside the mānuka honey trial.”

The main medical use for medical mānuka honey is for treating wound infections due to its naturally occurring methylglyoxal.

Methylglyoxal in honey is produced from dihydroxyacetone, a chemical present in the nectar of mānuka flowers. How much dihydroxyacetone is present varies enormously and the field trials are designed to test levels of it against a range of variables like climate, soils, and temperature.

Neil Walker, Managing Director of the Mānuka Research Partnership (NZ) Ltd, said early results from the plantation trials were encouraging but there was much more to learn.

“Some manuka plantations in the PGP trials are producing nectar with twice the level of dihydroxyacetone compared to wild mānuka grown in the same area. Our main research provider, Massey University, has also observed that the flowering period in the mānuka plantations can be extended by careful matching of mānuka varieties to location.

“Landcorp’s extension of the trials on hill country land and into riparian plantings and shelter for stock means we can complete a more robust analysis on things like shrub growth, nectar yield and quality, apiary issues, and plantation management. Knowing those factors will be essential for the large scale success of New Zealand’s mānuka honey industry,” he said.

Justine Gilliland, Director PGP at MPI said she’s excited by the greater potential of the High Performance Mānuka Plantations PGP programme.

“The programme will not only increase the yield and reliability of supply of medical grade mānuka honey , it also aims to achieve environmental benefits such as increasing the rate of hill country remediation, reducing costs associated with erosion and improving water quality,” she said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business:
NZ Puts Seven New Oil And Gas Areas Put Up For Tender

A total of seven new areas will be opened up to oil and gas exploration under its block offer tendering system, as the New Zealand government seeks to concentrate activity in a few strategically chosen areas. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news