In January 2019, OptiFreeze visited Syngenta’s farms in Kenya together with Josef Fisher (Syngenta’s Global Innovation Manager) and Marten Denekamp (Innovation R&D Manager).
Syngenta has four farms in Kenya, and the visits were focused on two of them: Kenya Cuttings and Kenya Polen. Both farms are very well organized, structured and highly sterile to avoid any contamination of the mother plants and cuttings. Opti-Freeze sold the first system to Kenya Cuttings. The focused products in Kenya Cuttings are Geranium and Poinsettia.
During 2018, OptiFreeze received the first order of the OptiCept line. The company visited the farm in Kenya where Geranium and Poinsettia flower cuttings for Syngenta are being produced.
In these farms, Syngenta is producing 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 then ready for shipment. 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.
The tour on the site was very beneficial for both sides to get ready for installation of the OptiCept line. New steps after the installation were also discussed and planned. The collaboration with Syngenta involves developing recipes for different species of cuttings and making the process an industrial standard. Therefore, OptiFreeze aims to start a trial program in Kenya to test different recipes in large scales and standardize the product handling before and after treatment. The aim is to finish the trial program in September-October 2019 before the high season for Pelargonium starts.
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