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Wageningen UR Glastuinbouw and Agrosysteemkunde support growers in East Africa

Last year researchers of Wageningen UR Glastuinbouw and Agrosysteemkunde assisted horticultural companies in Ethiopia to optimise the handling of water and plant protection. As part of the program Green Farming Wageningen UR will during the coming three years also implement such projects in Kenya.

The horticulture in East Africa is growing strongly. The climate and geography are ideal for growing flowers and vegetables. Roses from Kenya are known worldwide and more and more African vegetables can be found in Europe. The arrival of horticulture is, however, not allowed to damage the surroundings and environment. Existing opinions and techniques in horticulture cannot normally be implemented and therefore new cultivation systems are to be developed. Wageningen UR Glastuintuinbouw together with Agrosysteemkunde have already for a number of years been involved in the introduction of integrated plant protection on Ethiopian horticulture. In the program Green Framing there is cooperation with DLV-plant and a consortium of Dutch suppliers to find hy-tech solutions for the East African region.
Success with water and plant protection
The Rift Valley, the area where most of the horticultural companies establish themselves, has a vulnerable nature and shortage of water. The growing companies have to be economical with water and plant protection means are to be used as little as possible.

Wageningen UR Glastuinbouw evaluated a water management system for a rose grower in Debre Zeit, in which sixty to eighty percent less water is withdrawn from the environment. This is possible because of a combination of techniques for cultivation on substratum, storage of rain water, decreasing drainage and recirculation of water together with inverted osmosis.
At other Ethiopian rose growers researchers have been working to implement an efficient system in order to fight against plagues. The fight against red spider mite is now being done by introducing natural enemies and minimum quantities of chemicals. Much attention is being paid to transfer of knowledge by for instance training of co-workers to scouts and by improving the communication between interested parties in the private and public sectors. Also for other sicknesses and plagues in rose and other plants work is being done to come to an integrated approach with as few chamicals as possible.

Support local entrepreneurs
In the program Green Farming Wageningen UR Glastuinbouw offer knowledge and expertise to the solution of such complete questions. Wageningen UR Glastuinbouw
closely cooperates with suppliers in the areas of automation, water management systems and organic protection.

The program Green Farming organise a seminar for business circles op 27 August at Hoogendoorn Growth Management, 190 Westlandse weg, Vlaardingen from half past two till five o'clock. The activities and possibilities in East Africa will be commented upon. In order to attend this meeting e-mail to f.hoogerwerf@dlvplant.nl

Publication date: 8/26/2010
Author: Gerard Lindhout
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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