CHALLENGES FACED BY COMMERCIAL KIWIBERRY (ACTINIDIA ARGUTE PLANCH.) PRODUCTION
Commercial production of the kiwiberry (Actinidia argute) is relatively new in northern and western Europe. When introducing the kiwiberry to a region where fruit growers have no experience with Actinidia, many challenges have had to be overcome. For instance, the profile of the growers willing to invest in this crop is very diverse, the geographic regions have their specific climatic and soil conditions and, clearly, cultivation of the kiwiberry has very specific requirements. Therefore, proper technical advice is extremely important to obtain productive orchards. Although A. argute is quite hardy, spring frosts are a major concern and a strongly limiting factor for yields in Europe. In recent initiatives, different cultivars with a commercial potential are being screened for frost tolerance, but currently, frost protection using sprinkler irrigation is in many cases the only and most effective system. However, growing kiwiberries in greenhouses appears to be a valuable and commercially viable alternative in The Netherlands and Belgium. The combination of a recommended fertilizer program and irrigation management, artificial pollination methods, appropriate pruning and good training has proven to be a very successful approach with yields as high as 18 t/ha five years after planting. Apart from establishing productive orchards, the successful introduction of kiwiberry as a novel fruit onto the market involves other important issues as well. Since the price of new fruits is usually rather high, growers have to realize that a product quality is essential for long-term success. Therefore, much attention must be paid to efficient grading and stringent quality control.
Debersaques, F., Mekers, O., Decorte, J., Van Labeke, M.C., Schoedl-Hummel, K. and Latocha, P. (2015). CHALLENGES FACED BY COMMERCIAL KIWIBERRY (ACTINIDIA ARGUTE PLANCH.) PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 1096, 435-442
phenology, spring frost, greenhouse, pollination, quality