Spray-free strawberries will be enjoyed by New Zealanders

Spray-free strawberries will be enjoyed by New Zealanders, with a high-tech new system aimed to extend the fruit’s short season.

The spray-free strawberries will be grown through a high-tech new system almost all year round through a government-backed pilot project based in Foxton of the North Island.

The new indoor hydroponic system recycles water and uses mobile vertical racks and pulsing light, so it doesn’t require the pesticides or herbicides that are usually an essential part of large-scale strawberry production, said the minister.

The project will aim to produce fruit with an equivalent taste, look, and size to peak-season strawberries grown locally and conventionally.

Successful adoption of the technology could also create more skilled technical jobs that are not season dependent, he added.

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