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Peter van de Pol, Plant Research Overberg:

Kenya: Stokman Rozen increases PRO rootstock production

Stokman Rozen will increase their Plant Research Overberg (PRO) rootstock production in Kenya. "Currently, the demand exceeds the supply, so we need more space", says Peter van de Pol, director of the company and breeder of these new rose rootstocks. For this reason they recently added a new 0.5ha sized greenhouse and are planning to double this acreage soon.

Peter van de Pol at the IFTEX in Nairobi.

New greenhouse
The PRO rootstocks were officially launched in Europe and Africa the beginning of 2016. For Europe, the rootstocks are being produced by Interrose (Kordes) in De Kwakel, the Netherlands, and for Africa at Stokman Rozen in Naivasha, Kenya. Two weeks ago, they opened a new 0.5 ha sized greenhouse at Stokman Rozen that will be fully used for the production of PRO rootstocks. This new greenhouse is now being prepared for its first production and the possibility to expand the greenhouse is taking into account and implemented in the design. It can be expanded to 1ha. "Currently the demand exceeds the supply and with this new greenhouse, we expect to meet the demand for the 2017 propagation season", says van de Pol.

The team of Stokman roses together with Alejandro Umana of Ball at the IFTEX in Nairobi, Kenya.

10% increase in biomass
At Stokman Rozen in Naivasha, two types of PRO rootstocks are being produced; Protatu and Protano. Both varieties will increase the biomass of the plant. Depending on the rootstock chosen, the plant will either have more, thicker or longer stems. "A rise of 10% is very well possible, but we have often seen much higher numbers, even with known high producers like Avalanche or Red Naomi", explains van de Pol. "And varieties which cause problems like thin stems, lack of numbers etc, may become interesting again", he adds.

Currently, the PRO rootstocks are being grown in the greenhouse of Stokman Rozen.

Increasing demand
According to van der Pol, the PRO rootstock is accepted well in the market. "We are one of the few in the field of rootstocks and we are getting more traction in the market space, not only here in Africa, but also in Europe. The demand is increasing. So, overall, we are very satisfied", he says.

Future plans
Next to expanding the production of the PRO rootstocks, van de Pol is also planning to launch the rootstocks in other countries. "Soon, the PRO rootstocks will also be available in North- and South-America and Japan."

For more information
Plant Research Overberg b.v.
Peter van de Pol
Email: [email protected]