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

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Business
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news