SOUTH AFRICA – Westfalia Fruit, a multinational organization specializing in avocado growing, has unveiled an innovative project dabbed ‘Orchard of the Future’ that will advance avocado cultivation.

The company introduced the project virtually at the Fruit Attraction trade fair event hosted in Feria de Madrid from 3rd to 5th October 2023.

The project, as outlined by the company in a release, is underpinned by over 40 years of research and a commitment to sustainable practices, more so in avocado production.

“Today, operating in 17 countries across five continents, Westfalia Fruit remains committed to advancing sustainable agricultural practices,” stated the company. 

In their view, the innovation will be a manifestation of their enduring commitment to sustainable farming practices given the four strategic pivotal focus areas, each with far-reaching implications for the entire avocado industry.

 These four critical areas include water usage, environmental management, disease control, and genetic efficiency.

“Real scientists are hard at work in 50 hectares of orchards, where nature throws its challenges, providing invaluable real-life experience,” emphasized Dr. Zelda van Rooyen, Research Manager at Westfalia Technological Services.

“The dedication of these experts is complemented by the vast scale of thousands of hectares of commercial orchards.”

The company further elaborated that the visionary project will tackles a broad spectrum of challenges facing modern agriculture, including climate change and resource scarcity.

They will achieve this through the design of the ‘Orchards of the Future’ to also serve as an expansive research space where various growing conditions and stresses will be meticulously studied. 

Through the resource, researchers will be able to monitor and assess tree responses, ultimately enhancing their understanding of avocado cultivation and optimizing various factors, revealed the company.

While rooted in South Africa, the initiative will extend their significance worldwide sharing its learnings across its growing footprint, spanning the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

“The Orchards of the Future are not static,” outlines the press release, “It serves as a dynamic platform for testing emerging technologies and state-of-the-art practices, adhering to the principles of experimentation, demonstration, and eventual commercialization.”

For nearly 45 years, Westfalia Fruit has been at the forefront of developing avocado cultivars and rootstocks that thrive in their natural environment.

“Westfalia Fruit’s Orchards of the Future initiative exemplifies a commitment to pushing the boundaries of avocado cultivation,” mentioned Dr. Zelda. “Through continuous research, experimentation, and knowledge sharing, this project is poised to revolutionize the industry.”

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