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Big boost for kiwifruit research

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp
Minister of Research, Science and Technology


8 November 2009 Media Statement

EMBARGOED UNTIL 11pm SUNDAY 8 NOVEMBER

Big boost for kiwifruit research

Minister of Research, Science and Technology Wayne Mapp has announced a $15.2 million dollar Government investment into developing new kiwifruit varieties.

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has committed $15.2 million over seven years to a research partnership between Zespri International and Plant & Food Research, with Zespri putting in $20.5 million. The partnership will form the world’s largest research and development programme into new kiwifruit varieties.

Dr Mapp said that the investment will fast-track plant breeding research and the development of new kiwifruit cultivars.

“Land and food-based science is at the heart of the New Zealand economy. This investment is an example of building on our strengths and expertise.

“It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the horticulture sector It will give New Zealand a commercial advantage over its international competitors. It is estimated that there will be returns on the investment of approximately $350 million over 15 years.

“Investment in Plant & Food Research led to the gold kiwifruit from Zespri, which is now the foundation of $400 million of exports. This project will take our kiwifruit industry to new levels of international success,“ he said

The horticulture sector aims to double the value of its earnings to $10 billion per annum by 2020.

ENDS

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