A ground-breaking milestone could see more Hawke’s Bay farmers producing high-grade manuka honey worth millions to the New Zealand economy.
Scientifically bred manuka cultivars planted on a 130ha trial site at Tutira, Hawke’s Bay, between 2011 and 2013 have produced their first crop of manuka honey with an average Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) value of 7. One sample reached medical grade by exceeding 10.
The Tutira trial site is part of High Performance Manuka Plantations, a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme jointly funded between Manuka Research Partnership (NZ) Limited (MRPL) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
“We believe the Tutira site’s results using scientifically bred manuka cultivars will be of considerable commercial interest to farmers and other owners of large parcels of land across New Zealand,” said Manuka Farming New Zealand chief executive Stephen Lee.
Photo: Maggie Olsen tends to a manuka tree at Tutira.
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Posted: 14 December 2018