The cost of labor is a big part of the budget of a greenhouse horticulture business. In addition, it is difficult to find good workers. Saving on labor without compromising on the quality of the work will therefore be very appealing.
Take tomato cultivation, for example, which is a very labor-intensive crop. Based on the standard norms and 35,000 stems per hectare, it will take two experienced workers a week to do all the crop work on one hectare.
Cor Pellikaan, Qlipr calculates it with ease: "Working with our system is simple and user-friendly. An experienced worker can do 600 stems in an hour. So 58 hours is needed for a hectare. That is 32 percent less than the traditional way of working. Calculating with an hourly rate of 20 euros, this saves just over 350 euros per week or 1 person less employed per month.
“An additional disadvantage of the current working method is that the various activities cannot be carried out in one work cycle, because they have to be performed at different heights. The Pellikaan Qlipr system changes this. With this simple system there is no need for the traditional twisting and lowering and all work takes place below the crop wire that hangs at 4.5 meters high,” Cor continues.
The system consists of a hook, the PlanthooQ, hanging on the crop wire and two clamps. At the start of cultivation, the hook (120 cm) is attached to the bottom wire, about 150 cm above the substrate. Then the crop worker secures the plant to the hook with one crop clamp. When the plant has grown about 50 cm, they move the crop clamp to the top of the plant. And that happens again when the plant has grown another 50 cm.
Less movements through the greenhouse
It is therefore possible to perform all activities in a single go. Since fewer people have to use the same path, chances of spreading diseases and pests are less, workers do not get in each other's way and the crop suffers less.
A traditional system requires a pipe rail system that falls under the MEWP standard. After all, the pipe rail trolley must go higher than is necessary with the Qlipr system. This means that the high system must meet all kinds of safety standards, must be inspected and the surface must be absolutely flat.