New Zealand facts
Potatoes have a huge role to play, not just in feeding New Zealanders, but also in feeding the world’s population and looking after the planet. Fortunately potatoes are a very efficient high yielding plant, using less water than comparable crops and are able to adapt to all sorts of growing conditions
We are a nation of potato lovers and we efficiently produce enough potatoes both for ourselves and for export.
- Potatoes are grown in all parts of the country with the principle growing areas being Pukekohe (just south of Auckland), Hawkes Bay (east coast of the North Island), Manawatu (lower North Island) and Canterbury in the South Island.
- Production in New Zealand over the last 10 years has increased markedly even though the area under production has remained reasonably static. The percentage of crop targeted for processing has also increased significantly in the last decade to around 57%.
- There are over 50 varieties grown in New Zealand. The main varieties are Russett Burbank, Innovator, Rua, Nadine, Agria, Moonlight, Desiree, Ilam Hardy and Red Rascal.
- In New Zealand there are over 200 potato growers and the growing area is 10,591 hectares. Approximately one quarter of the annual crop is exported.
- Around 525,000 tonnes of potatoes are grown annually. If the average size of a potato is 175g, this is approximately 3 billion potatoes. If all of those potatoes were eaten in New Zealand this would equal nearly 668 potatoes a year for every man, woman and child.
- Fresh market potatoes can be grown and harvested all year round.
- Most New Zealanders get around 30% of their vitamin C requirement from potatoes.
- Potatoes make a significant contribution to New Zealanders’ diets because:
– of their valuable nutrition status, e.g. vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals
– of their accessibility to the population in terms of cost, e.g. good quality nutrition at a price most can afford
– potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in New Zealand.