Aotearoa imports roughly 85,000 tonnes of bananas each and every year, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. RNZ/23102021
New Zealanders are bananas for bananas, but the country relies on imports from Mexico, Ecuador and the Philippines for its supply.
Some fruit growers hope to change that by sowing the seeds for a homegrown industry.
imports roughly 85,000 tonnes of bananas each and every year, according to the
United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.
supply is mostly stable, but changes in the weather make it hard for exporters
to keep up with the enormous demand.
New Zealand, the country's biggest supplier, gets its bananas from Ecuador and
manager Stephen Barton said it had been a challenging season for growers in
importers are only getting 70 to 80 percent of what they need," he said.
for instance, was very wet and flooding, and the Philippines has had the
opposite, it's been a little dry."
had largely kept up with the demand, but banana lovers were particularly hungry
at this time of year, Barton said.
we're seeing is a shortage based on seasonal demand," he said.
weather is excellent and people are starting to eat a lot more bananas."
sold 50,000 boxes a week, Barton said.
have containers arriving from Ecuador every week and we have a charter vessel
from the Philippines every second week."
Fruit Growers of New Zealand chair Hugh Rose wondered if New Zealand relied too
much on imports.
biggest concern is getting sufficient bananas to meet demand, particularly as
overseas productivity starts to wane and the shipping costs [get higher],"
of these things lead us to say if you want to eat bananas, particularly good
ones, plant your own."
had some a-peeling qualities for New Zealand farmers, Rose said.
aren't just grown for their fruit, they make awesome cattle feed.
part of the banana is edible, so if you want winter feed, you can harvest the
stems and chuck them over the fence to the cows and they'll be very
bananas are typically grown in tropical areas, NIWA climate, atmosphere and
hazards manager Nava Fedaeff said New Zealand's climate is warmer than it used
are certainly looking more and more viable if we look at our future warmer
climate," she said.
are a tropical species so they like warmth, sunlight and higher humidity, and
bananas are already grown in places like Northland, Waikato, Gisborne and