Taranaki’s rich soil and temperate climate provide an ideal environment for many types of horticulture.
About 800 hectares of Taranaki land is used for growing crops with plenty of potential for further development.
The most widespread horticultural land use in Taranaki includes market gardening and greenhouse production of a broad range of vegetable crops, flowers and ornamental plants.
Crops grown on a commercial basis in Taranaki include tamarillos, tangelos, passion fruit, avocados, capsicums, apples, feijoas, chillies, garlic, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, lavender, orchids, chrysanthemums, lisianthus and a range of other garden and flower crops including palms, maple trees, ferns, flax and grasses.
The region has an ideal microclimate for the production of a number of varieties of nut, including macadamias, cashews, chestnuts and walnuts, and is also home to a smattering of small, award winning boutique fruit wineries and apiaries.
A recent report by Lincoln University identified a number of opportunities for Taranaki’s horticultural sector and land use. Two emerging primary sector industries that appeared to offer opportunities for diversification were the growth of Manuka for the production of Manuka honey and industrial hemp production for housing and other end-uses.
Tourism related to horticulture is a growing industry in Taranaki. Increasing visitors visit the regions' beautiful parks and gardens, particularly during the Taranaki Rhododendron and Garden Festival. There are also an increasing number of market gardens and other associated businesses which offer tourism experiences.