Thursday, 04 August 2016 16:56

Hort grew 17% last year: PM

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Prime Minister John Key. Prime Minister John Key.

Prime Minister John Key congratulated the horticulture industry for its great advancement in the last few years.

Last year the industry grew about 17% to reach $5 billion and it had the ambitious goal of getting to $10 billion by 2020, he told the Horticulture NZ conference in Nelson today, via a video message.

"That fits in with the government's role of wanting to double exports by 2025.

"There are a lot of great things happening in your sector, it is fantastic to see kiwifruit coming back from the terrible effects of Psa; good to see the significant investment in areas like apples."

He was in Motueka recently looking at the hops sector. "There is certainly a lot happening, and the government of course is working very hard to try and open up new markets. The Korea FTA was an important one from the tariffs perspective, TPP will certainly help, if we can get better access to Europe that's a big advantage and also the Gulf States."

He said he knew the horticulture sector was very focussed on research and development and science and technology – bringing the best techniques to both growing the fruit and making sure that it gets to market in the best possible condition.

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