Kiwifruit Strap
The Bay's leading industry was brought to its knees nearly a decade ago as Psa left kiwifruit vines and growers in ruin.

But this vital sector has bounced back and is today prospering - and is now struggling to find enough workers to harvest its crops.

As part of a Bust to Boom: Kiwifruit's remarkable comeback, Carmen Hall takes a look at a school that is teaching students the skills to enter the industry.

Katikati College has launched a pilot horticulture programme to get students into the kiwifruit industry.

If successful it could be adopted by a sister school in Tonga.

Teacher Hilary Johnson said there were career opportunities across the sector but changing people's perceptions was the biggest hurdle.

Last year Johnson started working on the pilot programme and overhauled the college's horticulture course, centred around gardening, which was in decline.

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The new programme had three strands including innovation and creativity, business management and plant science and technology.

Teacher Hilary Johnson talks about Katikati College’s innovative pilot horticulture programme aimed at getting students into the kiwifruit industry.

Students could go into direct employment, cadetships or university, she said.

''In all cases across

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