25 Mar 2014

Kiwifruit industry models fruit fly cost

3:37 pm on 25 March 2014

Biosecurity staff at Kiwifruit Vine Health have produced a report that shows a fruit fly incursion in prime kiwifruit growing territory would cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars.

Matt Dyck, a biosecurity analyst with KVH, has summarised existing economic models to provide the kiwifruit industry with an estimate of how much different fruit fly incursions could cost.

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Photo: PHOTO NZ

He says while an incursion anywhere in the country would be costly - a breeding population of fruit flies in Bay of Plenty would be a huge financial blow.

"What I found is that there is a huge range and any fruit fly incursion is going to be expensive. One to tow million is the best case scenario for the find of a single individual, like what we had in Whangarei.

"The worst case scenario is that we might find a breeding population in Te Puke, right in the heart of our industry and that could cost the Bay of Plenty horticultural industries upwards of $430 million."

He says the concern is markets imposing access restrictions when there is a breeding population, which is what happened in 1996 when such a population was found in Auckland.