The first New Zealand plantings of a distinctive new pear have begun on selected orchards.
Piqa Boo is another product of Plant and Food Research's extensive fruit breeding programme combining characteristics from European, Japanese and Chinese pears. The fruit stands out because of its bright red colour and rounder shape.
Prevar is a New Zealand-Australian joint venture set up to commercialise new pipfruit cultivars. Chief executive Brett Ennis said Piqa Boo attracted a lot of interest at the recent Asia Fruit Congress.
The company has recently signed an exclusive marketing licence with the Freshmax Group for growing this new fruit in Australia.
Mr Ennis said Prevar is talking to the New Zealand pipfruit industry and interested companies about licensing arrangements for this country also.
"We've already started the process of planting some trees of this selection in New Zealand. Whilst only a small number have been planted to date, interest is very strong and we expect more to be planted over the next few years with fruit possibly becoming available to retail, somewhere around 2016."
Mr Ennis said other pears in the Piqa range would follow.