The thirsty truth about avocados


From Instagram to Pinterest, this is the golden age of avocados.

They're so popular, the New Zealand industry's earnings have doubled in the past three years.

Earlier this year avocado prices skyrocketed to around $4.50.

But now you can grab one for less than $2.

That's because we're into a bumper season, which may end up being New Zealand's biggest ever.

But growing avocados takes a lot of water - much more than for things like potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce.

One report says it takes 280 litres to grow half a kilo of avocados. That's compared to 56 litres for the same amount of lettuce and 83 litres for tomatoes.

In the Far North all avocado farms are irrigated. In the Bay of Plenty, fewer than half are.

In Mexico, the high demand is having catastrophic effects - fuelling deforestation.

However, with prices spiking, some drug cartels have actually swapped narcotics for avocados, in an attempt to find new sources of revenue.