Farming of fruit, vegetables, seeds, and flowers are all categorized under horticultural farming. New Zealand has over 125 000 hectares of horticultural land and has a healthy export growth in farming products. The number of exports in 2019 was valued at over NZ$6 200 million. Some of the most in-demand horticulture products include kiwifruit, apples, and wine.
This article provides information on some of the most important and in-demand sectors in horticulture and the products which are making these industries thrive.
Almost 68 300 hectares of land is used in the growing of fruits. The largest crops in planting areas include wine grapes at 33 980 hectares, Kiwifruit at 11 700 hectares, and avocadoes at 3 980 hectares. Wine grapes occupy almost 40 000 hectares of land with the largest regions being in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay.
Kiwifruit is the largest grown horticultural product in the Bay of Plenty. The fruit is specially grown in large amounts in Te Puke but also in Northland, Auckland and Gisborne.
Kiwi fruits are picked in Autumn and is then kept in a cool store until sold or even exported to other countries. The farming season of kiwi fruits is seen to run from April to December and imported to fulfil domestic demand as the export sales are quite high.
The country has over 2 750 farmers dedicated to growing Kiwifruit, resulting in the production of almost 158 million trays annually.
Hawks Bay and Tasman regions are seen as the primary growing areas for apples in New Zealand. About 12% of apples are consumed locally with 28% being processed into juice and 60% being exported to other countries. Exportation statistics of apples shows NZ$829 million worth of export sales annually.
Vegetable farming occupies around 45 500 acres of land in New Zealand. Some of the largest crops in vegetable farming include potatoes at 9 450 hectares, sweet corn at 3 870 hectares, and brassicas at 3 630 hectares.
Due to vegetables having a short shelf-life, fresh vegetables are grown for domestic consumption and processing. Exports of vegetables are focused on nearby pacific island nations and include longer-life fresh vegetables such as squash and onions. Exports in vegetables come down to around NZ$304 million annually.
Vegetables are not exported as much as most other farmed products in horticulture. It provides a large portion of the products for domestic use for consumption and processing into juices.