OptiCept process in use at Syngenta Flowers production location Kenya Cuttings
Apr. 10, 2019
The tour at Kenya Cuttings and Kenya Pollen was very beneficial for both parties in getting ready for installation of the OptiCept line. OptiCept is a method to improve the post-harvest quality of cuttings, cut flowers and potentially also seed. By using the OptiCept method, the shelf-life of flowers can be increased significantly from typically 4 to 11 days or more.
“Both farms, Kenya Cuttings and Kenya Pollen were very well organized, structured and highly sterile to avoid any contamination of the mother plants and cuttings”, says Eda Demir, CEO of OptiFreeze. “In these farms, Syngenta Flowers produced cuttings from mother plants. Mother plants are called Elite plants, because they provide very good material.”
Once the cuttings are harvested, they are cooled down immediately, packed and prepared for shipment. Demir: “The cuttings are in a fresh state when they are harvested, but during packaging and transportation, they start getting old. The cutting producers will benefit from our technology initially at this stage to preserve cuttings as fresh as possible until they are delivered to greenhouse owners. In the second stage, the greenhouse owners will benefit from our technology where the growing performance of the cuttings is improved.”
“We have also discussed and planned new steps after the installation”, says Eda. “Our collaboration with Syngenta Flowers involves developing recipes for different species of cuttings and making our innovative process an industrial standard. Therefore, we aim to start a trial program in Kenya to test different recipes in large scales and standardize the product handling before and after treatment. Our aim is to finish the trial program in September-October 2019 before the high season for Pelargonium starts.”
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