Cyclone Gabrielle has hit New Zealand farmers hard. Some have lost everything. Some apple growers has just started the harvest, and the orchards were full of trees with apples waiting to be harvested. Many have nothing left. Also, avocado growers and greenhouse growers have been affected.
At least five people have died, and evacuations are continuing as fresh storm warnings are announced in regions of New Zealand already devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle, and the prime minister warns of the likelihood of further fatalities.
Farmers, growers, and rural communities in flood-struck areas are still being urged to stay home, stay safe and avoid non-essential travel until instructed otherwise. "If you, or someone you know, are in immediate danger, call 111. For all other non-life-threatening assistance or advice, contact your local Civil Defence Centre", HortNZ shares.
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Local sources say several greenhouses were flooded. Local greenhouse news website Grower2Grower shared photos of affected companies and advised growers on what to do when dealing with floods.
Northland avocado growers heavily affected by Cyclone Gabrielle
Maungatapere avocado grower Mike Eagles said next year's avocado harvest was "already hopeless" because of the damage the fruit and trees had sustained from rain and wind. His ten-hectare orchard was already "absolutely hammered" by Monday morning, with rain gauges overflowing a day before the worst of the cyclone was expected, Eagles said.
The Government is providing $4 million to help farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners, and rural communities mobilize and coordinate recovery efforts.
This is initial funding to help with immediate and urgent needs.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is working closely with sector groups to identify areas of greatest need.