Seminar addresses looming skill shortage in Colombia’s floral industry

Posted On 08 Sep 2016
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AC_ Asocolflores Los Sauces 0526RIONEGRO, Colombia: To address labour market shortages, renowned breeder Dümmen Orange™ in cooperation with Hortimat and Royal Brinkman – hosted a seminar for more than eighty Chrysanthemum growers in Rionegro, Colombia. Their main goal was to shift focus: not look for more people, but make processes more efficiently.

As a result of the rapidly growing Colombian economy, less workers are available for work in the greenhouses. This poses a problem, because the work at the farms is still very labour- intensive. Luckily, the shortages in manpower can be overcome by the use of new technologies. Heerke de Boer, Dümmen Orange, addressed improved phytosanitary processes in his presentation. Hortimat and Royal Brinkman introduced growers to different mechanisation applications that allow for less labour-intensive production.

Apart from the labour shortages, the Colombian grower’s cash flow position is positive because of the favourable exchange rate of the dollar. This means it is the right time to invest in more machine-intensive production, resulting in farms that are less dependent on the available manpower. Through its knowledge and contacts, Dümmen Orange introduced its customers to specialised suppliers, who explained their practices.

The seminar resulted in direct agreements for Hortimat and Royal Brinkman. Developments and latest introductions from Hortimat machinery such as the soil mixer, tray filler with planting line and Vegaflor’s bunching line show Colombian Chrysanthemum growers how they replace manpower with technology. Royal Brinkman’s offerings in Hebo halters and cutters, and solutions for crop protection also interested many.

At the Dümmen Orange cut Chrysanthemum trial site, where other ways of irrigation and planting are applied to the mother plants, customers can see for themselves how labour-saving these techniques are. In upcoming customer visits, Dümmen Orange will keep explaining the labour-saving processes to help growers overcome the shortage in manpower.

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