High-tech New Zealand strawberries in pipeline

Spray-free strawberries will be enjoyed by New Zealanders, with a high-tech new system aimed to extend the fruit's short season. The spray-free strawberries will be grown through a high-tech new system almost all year round through a government-backed pilot project based in Foxton of the North Island, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said on Tuesday.

"We're focused on innovations that lift the sustainability and productivity of our food and fiber sector, and this project moves us along that path," O'Connor said.

"Strawberries are a staple in the Kiwi diet in summer, but many would agree that our strawberry season is all too short," he said, adding the most cost-effective method has been identified to grow high-yielding, out-of-season strawberries using a controlled environment growing system, partnering with companies.

The project will aim to produce fruit with an equivalent taste, look, and size to peak-season strawberries grown locally and conventionally, O'Connor said, adding it has the potential to benefit the horticulture industry in New Zealand, both environmentally and economically.

Successful adoption of the technology could also create more skilled technical jobs that are not season dependent, he added. 

Read the complete article at www.china.org.cn.

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