Having been a fruit tree nurseryman, field production manager, extension manager, packhouse advisor, fruit quality assessor on top of being well versed with agrichemicals gave me experience in that aspect and then as technical and sustainability manager with UK fruit importers I completed the cycle about how that side worked. These experiences, spanning over fifteen or more countries gave me a good insight into global agricultural problems and practices.
We enable our commercial farmers to produce the maximum quantity and quality of world class fruits without using resources unnecessarily. Sustainable production is not just an option – it is a must if we are to look after mother earth. To this end I use my strong agronomic grounding with up-and-coming agricultural technologies that are detailed below.
For our small-scale farmers, we want to bring in simple tweaks, such as improving soil health, which will improve productivity and quality. Thereafter, to value-add in the country of origin or aggregate the products sufficiently to enable exporting. Introduction of new varieties and new crops is very much the next step following evaluation with local partners.
IRRIGATION SCHEDULING. This reduces wastage of water and smartly directs irrigation where it is needed. After field mapping using the latest in drone technology, I can use a remote sensing service to provide a daily report on the soil moisture status of each field. This is a very sustainable, allowing you to irrigate only those fields that need it, taking the guess work out of your irrigation scheduling and allowing you to make the best use of water. Correct irrigation, along with correct nutrition makes up two very important aspects of growing your fruits. This service can also alert you to the presence of disease infections in your crop
CROP NUTRITION has traditionally been based on soil and leaf tissue analysis and visual symptoms. However, by the time you see such symptoms the crop has already lost some of it’s yield potential. I can guide growers in the use of leaf sap analysis; unlike leaf tissue sampling, sap analysis tells you what is going on in your plant at that moment. It can also give you a good indication of what pests or diseases are likely to affect your crop.
SOIL HEALTH ASSESSMENT: It is now unanimously accepted that if you look after your soil health, the soil will look after the plants. One important aspect is soil microbiome. I can provide a kit which not only measure the soil microbiome but can also differentiate between the fungal and bacterial components which then allows you to amend the soil accordingly. This on-farm test costs only a fraction of a lab test.
PRUNING is very useful for light penetration to encourage fruit set within the canopy but also allows easier penetration of foliar applied nutrients and pesticides. With citrus I still work with window pruning whereas with avocados it depends on the state of the tree canopy. I provide training on this.
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