For the international grower with greenhouse horticulture ambitions the range of high-tech technology on the market can be overwhelmingly. Once the greenhouse with all the trimmings is in place, arranging everything properly is not that easy. "Then you see that intervention is done manually, while all software options to do this automatically are available," says Jan Wijgerse of GHBD Holland. "A pity”.
For that reason Jan is in favour of step-by-step automating, so that the grower has the means that he is able to use. He calls this the Stepping Stone Model and has applied it successfully for decades with his international contacts. It also won him the Fenedex Export Select Export Manager of the Year Award in 2011.
Investment versus return
The grower with a relatively low production per square meter can comparatively make much larger steps with a low investment than a grower who already has a high production per square meter. "The purchase of a simple climate control or an accurate water and fertilizer dosage system already considerably increases production."
It remains difficult for growers to find the suitable Dutch technology for the basic and mid-segment in the market. "If you want a simple regulator, you will quickly end up with suppliers outside the Netherlands with systems based on their local circumstances and principles. You miss the Dutch way of controlling and working, it is difficult to find regulators that are suitable for worldwide application."
For that reason, GHBD Holland has decided to set up its own product line, System Blue. System Blue consists of a series of climate and irrigation computers with basic Dutch functionality. "The user can use Dutch technology without complex settings and factors. Of course at a reasonable price. We are using existing technology with standard reliable hardware and software."
To complete the package, Jan expects to launch the new series of System Blue irrigation units on the market in October. "With these units we make use of new technologies and a modular structure, which makes it easy to configure units such as a mixing tank or an injection unit with a mixing chamber."