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Largest Balkan nursery preaches benefits of grafting
The demand for quality starting material is increasing in
Greece and other countries on the Balkans. For this reason, Greek
propagation nursery AGRIS extends its focus on the advanced grafted
young plants with additional consultancy and support.
AGRIS is one of the largest GSPP-certified propagators of vegetable seedlings in the Balkans. It was founded in 1983 in Thessalloniki as a local seed store. In 1987 the company became an important distributor for the French Seed company, HM Clause. In the year 2001, AGRIS expanded its presence, in the seedlings market with investments in an advanced propagation nursery. This expansion was extended with further investments into new markets beyond Greek borders in countries like Romania and Bulgaria.
The 6 facilities in multiple countries resulted in a strong presence of AGRIS throughout Southeast Europe. The company has a total of 4 hectares of advanced nursery greenhouses available as well as 10 high tech healing chambers for grafted plants. "We propagate 100 million seedlings per year", Commercial Director Ioannis Koumoundouros proudly stated, "with the 12 million of them being grafted seedlings."
Tomatoes, watermelons, cucumbers and eggplants are important crops for AGRIS. Koumoundouros sees the market for grafted seedlings increasing by the year. "Despite the recession, there is a lot of development taking place in our region. Greece farmers and investors are increasingly aware of the opportunities of high tech vegetable cultivation. Compared to 4-5 years ago, there are more investments towards mass production of greenhouse vegetables. This is also a result of retailers who demand year round quality."
"We emphasize a more professional industry and have invested a lot of money to provide this development. One of them is our dedication towards grafting, this technique lies at the base of producing better crops and achieving greater yields. We have made significant investments in high tech climate chambers with LEDs that are used to provide optimal growing conditions to heal our grafted plants."
According to Koumoundouros, Agris did not only invest a lot in the technology to produce high quality grafted seedlings. "In order to build an industry you need to do more than just selling seeds or seedlings. If you want to advance this sector, you need to be part of it and connect all dots from seed to sale. That is why we made investments in several advanced trial stations to invite chain partners and discuss with them the opportunities of new varieties, rootstock and complete marketing plans." Growers, retailers and other chain partners can see the latest crops at Agris' trial stations, grown in both soil and hydroponics. The trial stations are located in various geographical areas with different climates.
As well as this, AGRIS is also offering extensive after sales support. "We go beyond propagating the right variety by offering technical crop consultancy and advise on a contract base. This is part of our holistic approach, it is our mission to advance horticulture in our region.
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