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Feds Delighted To Be Part Of Successful Eradication Effort

A Wairarapa community-wide effort, backed by government, has achieved what is thought to be a biosecurity world first.

The complete eradication of the pea weevil from the Wairarapa required a four-year ban on the growing of peas, not just for commercial growers, but for all gardeners.

Federated Farmers has been involved in helping growers work through the processes around the biosecurity response and eradication since the beginning of the response, back in 2016.

"The pea industry is worth $130 million to New Zealand. Wairarapa growers and farmers were initially aghast at talk of a ban on growing, for years," Federated Farmers arable chair, and Wairarapa grower, Karen Williams says.

"But we realised we needed to pull together. And we’d need the support of the government, and the support of the wider community, which we got.

"There were some dark days early on, and a few testy conversations. But I’m proud of the way the farming community and the public responded to this crisis," Karen says.

Federated Farmers is all too familiar with the damage incursions of unwanted pests and diseases can do to New Zealand’s primary sector.

"It is fantastic to be able to celebrate a win like this one."

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