Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) is an agricultural commodity mainly grown for eating the fresh fruit produced by the vines. These egg-sized and shaped fruits have fuzzy brown skin and a bright green interior. Also called Chinese gooseberry and kiwifruit, this plant originated in China. Today, several countries produce this plant for domestic sales or export.
For centuries, the kiwi fruit grew natively in China, where it had medicinal use. By the 20th century, growers in New Zealand acquired cultivation knowledge of this plant and began the first commercial growth of it.
Allied servicemembers passing through New Zealand acquired a taste for the fuzzy berries. New Zealand fine-tuned its growing methods to transform the once-wild fruit into an agricultural commodity.
In the 1960s, the fruit acquired the name of kiwifruit because the small brown fruits resembled the tiny brown kiwi birds native to New Zealand. This also cemented New Zealand's role in the origins of kiwi as an agricultural crop. It had also traveled to Great Britain and the United States during this decade.
Today, New Zealand remains one of the top producers of kiwifruit, but it does not produce the most.
As of 2023, the most recent kiwi production data comes from 2021. That year, China, the native home to kiwifruit, produced 2.4 million tons of this crop.
Crop yields per hectare are another important statistic for agricultural commodities because they indicate the impact the crop has on the land. Higher yields per hectare mean the country uses more efficient growing methods that allow for greater production using less land.
New Zealand had the highest yield per hectare for commercially grown kiwi. It produced 404.9 thousand tons of kiwi per hectare of land. Bhutan grew 255 thousand tons per hectare, placing it second on this list.
China dedicates the most land to its kiwi crops, with 199.1 thousand hectares harvested in 2021. Italy had the second largest amount of land used for kiwi growing, 24.9 thousand hectares. New Zealand, Greece, and Chile round out the others in the top five of land use for commercially grown kiwifruit.
Production Yield (Tons)
Yield Per Hectare (100g/ha)
Area Harvested (ha)