The New Zealand apple industry is working to stop spraying by 2050, as this should allow it to maintain high-value export markets. The apple sector has received 15 million dollars of financing to achieve this.
Rachel Kilmister, director of the research and development program at NZ Apple and Pears, said the group had received government support for a seven-year research program to work on sustainable production practices. The program aims to reduce agrochemicals by employing specific and intelligent technologies, such as remote sensing to detect pests. It will also use new apple varieties that are more resistant to pests and diseases. The sector also aims to reduce its carbon footprint.