Enza Zaden Brochures

3 years ago

ThePartnership no. 14

  • Text
  • Vegetable
  • Breeding
  • Growers
  • Pepper
  • Products
  • Zaden
  • Cultivation
  • Enza
  • Partnership
  • Organic

Chives sales at market

Chives sales at market in Aungban, Myanmar cultivation. Clean cultivation of leafy vegetables and herbs is best achieved with a hydroponics system, either covered or not. Thailand and Malaysia have made small initial steps in this process. This was a success and growers soon started experimenting with the same system for several traditional crops. And hydroponics turned out to be extremely suitable for these crops too. From open field to scaling up Berkvens explains that these countries in the region are really at the forefront of trends and high-tech developments. These countries are increasingly looking at scaling up and marketing branded products. Other countries in Southeast Asia – such as Cambodia and Myanmar – are still in the early phase of the developments, with almost all cultivation still taking place in open field. The step from open field to covered cultivation still needs to take place here. Only then can they look into the options of hydroponics. “Highly likely, because we see time and again that the less developed countries follow the latest trends and developmental phases of the more developed countries in this region.” Disease burden Switching from open field to covered cultivation is an incredible leap forward for countries in Southeast Asia when it comes to qualitatively better vegetable production. The disease burden is high in these countries due to the high temperatures and humidity year-round, particularly in the cultivation regions at sea level. “For example, heavy rainfall quickly results in fungal and bacterial infections of the crop. Covered cultivation partially solves this problem, because this protects the crop against rainfall and the insect burden from outside. 10 | The Partnership Sweet pepper variety Spider in Chiang Mai, Thailand Current focus The disease burden is much lower in the highlands due to the lower temperatures, but the available agricultural area is limited there. In order to keep up with the population growth, cultivation at sea level will need to increase production. “Our focus for breeding lies primarily on resistance, in addition to yield. Varieties with a good resistance, so that more of the crop can be grown in lowlands, therefore have a significant added value. In addition to a higher yield per plant, resistance also reduces the use of chemicals, as the plant has a natural form of protection against diseases from outside. We cross global genetics with local genetics in the breeding process, to ensure the best and fastest result. And thanks to our own station in Malaysia, we are able to breed plants under local conditions.” The future Berkvens has indicated that – in addition to this key focus – initial steps are being made towards the future. “These are the valueadded traits that allow growers to distinguish themselves. These traits include longer crop growth and improved product shelf life. For example, we are already working on improved transportability for tomatoes. This is truly a long-term breeding strategy and it is good to start now, because tropical Asia is developing very quickly.” New facilities in Southeast Asia: Enza Zaden Asia New Operations and R&D facilities in Southeast Asia. Why has Enza Zaden opted for Malaysia? “It is the perfect country for us,” explains Marketing & Sales Manager Ruud Berkvens. “We were looking for a location in the tropics where it is hot and humid all year round and where the disease burden is continuously high. We also wanted to be close to the equator for the constant day length.” Research into disease resistance At the R&D station, breeders and phytopathologists are working on six crops: chilli pepper, tomato, cucumber, pumpkin, bitter gourd and ridge gourd. Sub-stations in Thailand and the Philippines are also managed from Malaysia, where the new varieties can immediately be tested in the focused growing areas. Berkvens: “The local stations provide direct feedback from their own market and whether the varieties are sufficiently resistant to the diseases that are present. In the future, we want to expand these activities further to include growing areas in other countries.” Fast and flexible logistics The new facilities in Malaysia also perform activities related to Seed Operations, such as seed cleaning, seed storage and quality testing. Berkvens explains that the facilities will become a fully operational plant in this field in the near future. “This makes us logistically faster and more flexible. The location in Malaysia – in the heart of Southeast Asia – is also perfect for the logistics. From here there are very good connections to the surrounding countries and we can respond more quickly to changes in the markets.” Local sales people With the R&D and Seed Operations activities, it was also logical to open a regional commercial office in Malaysia. Each country in Southeast Asia has local staff or business partners in place for daily contact with local growers. “They know the market like no other, speak the local language and can immediately offer the best advice. As we start to offer more new varieties, we will add more local growing advisors.” The Partnership | 11