MPI visit to develop Annual Readiness Plan
KVH and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have an agreement under the Government Industry Agreement (GIA), about how we prepare for and respond to biosecurity threats specific to the kiwifruit sector. This is in addition to the work we are doing alongside other industries for the multi-sector pests such as fruit fly and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).
MPI recently visited to discuss our annual readiness plan for the year ahead. They also visited an orchard and packhouse while here to increase their understanding of how our industry operates and gain an appreciation of harvest in full swing.
Brazilian Wilt (Ceratocystis fimbriata), the soil borne pathogen causing significant losses to kiwifruit growers in Brazil, has been a significant focus up to this point resulting in the first readiness plan under GIA, an industry simulation, and over $300k of kiwifruit industry funded research to ensure we are more prepared for this pathogen, including developing tools to detect it. This work will continue to progress; however, we will also be undertaking readiness plans for Verticillium Wilt, and invasive Phytophthoras. These are complex organisms that require significant work to understand the risk to our industry and develop the necessary tools to mitigate this risk.
The good news for growers is that regardless of the organism there are several recurring themes that come through in this readiness work. If you clean your tools, source clean plants, report unusual symptoms and manage what enters your orchard, you are more likely to reduce the impact of these pathogens should they arrive.