7 Feb 2011

Some kiwifruit growers getting compensation

6:13 am on 7 February 2011

Kiwifruit Vine Health is making progress in compensating growers whose orchards have been severely hit by the PSA vine disease.

The agency which the industry set up last November, is responsible for overseeing strategies to control the bacterial disease, and administering a $50 million rescue package.

General Manager John Burke says 34 growers have blocks where vines may have to be removed, as they have a more virulent strain of the disease. Eleven of these have signed compensation contracts.

He says that as soon as growers sign an agreement, the agency buys the crop on the vines, as if they had harvested it.

Mr Burke says growers are in line for immediate payment for that crop.

Growers will also receive "regeneration support payment" which is paid on a monthly basis over the duration of the regeneration of their orchard, up to 36 months in some instances.

Mr Burke says any cutting and removal will be carried out before the 2011 harvest which starts in late March, early April.

Growers who have gold kiwifruit vines removed are eligible for compensation of $52,000 per hectare. Growers of green kiwifruit will receive $30,000.