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Macedonian training centre puts the Balkans back on horticultural map

In April this year, the HortiCentar training center was officially opened in Macedonia. Just six months later, many students have already been trained and graduated from this high-end training facility near the city of Sveti Nikole. According to HortiCentar founder Aleksandar Stoikov, the centre is playing a crucial role in developing the future of horticulture in the Balkans and surrounding countries.

The HortiCentar is an 800 m2 training greenhouse, which is divided into 3 departments and is equipped with the latest modern techniques and controls. As well as this, offices, teaching rooms and a full warehouse are available to provide training to both large and small groups of growers. The center is the brainchild of Dutchman Bernardo Greeve of greenhouse constructor KG Greenhouse and Aleksandar Stojkov of Balkan Greenhouse, a turnkey greenhouse developer from Macedonia. Moreover, several other parties such as Royal Brinkman, van Iperen, Van der Knaap Substrates, Relab den Haan, Aardbei-Extra, Hortus Supplies International, Vilentum College and Syngenta are involved in the project. The combination of these partners enables HortiCentar to offer a wide range of knowledge and techniques. The HortiCentar project is furthermore supported by the Dutch Embassies from Skopje and Belgrade.

As the HortiCentar is cooperating with most of the agricultural faculties in the region (Skopje, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Bijelina, Banja Luka, Plovdiv, Stip etc), it is able to provide training to a large group of nationalities. Students from Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine and France have followed intensive courses on crop control and have been taught to work with sophisticated greenhouse equipment, including climate control computers, irrigation, heating, screen, etcetera.

Recently a group with students from China completed an intensive training course at the HortiCentar in Macedonia. This indicates that the center does not only address local and regional training, but they are also available to support the development of greenhouse horticulture in other parts of the world with a comparable climate similar to Macedonia's. Long distance travel to the Netherlands is no longer the only option available to follow training. "The group with Chinese growers were very positive about the 10-day training course," said Aleksander Stoikov. "They learned everything they needed to know about climate control in a modern greenhouse setting."

The all-inclusive training package offered to the Chinese growers included training and accommodation, food, culture, leisure time.

If you are interested in following training courses at the HortiCentar in Macedonia as well, please contact Aleksandar Stoikov. (e-mail)

For more information:
Aleksandar Stoikov
[email protected]