The corona pandemic has caused a number of international horticultural projects to be delayed in construction and/or cultivation. The world is changing rapidly and the adaptability of the people is now under great stress. But adaptation is only possible if the right knowledge and skills are available, to be able to face the future with confidence.
by Jan Vrins
Hiring an experienced horticulturist who regularly flies back and forth home, is now a problem. Not only for the environment, but also for guidance.
So we have to look for other ways, to transfer knowledge and skills to foreign countries. How do we get the right knowledge from those people who need to run their project/company, as well as a possible good production? Because for a successful production you will need a good basis to grow further in horticulture.
Bilancia has been busy the last two years to be able to respond to this new situation. This has led to new possibilities based on the experiences of Dutch horticulture education. Bilancia has now developed a number of basic courses that can help the student to acquire the right knowledge and thus make the right decisions. These courses are (made in cooperation with e-Learning training) in blended learning form (practice and theory).
The student can choose out of the following possibilities:
|With examination and guidance||Without Examination and with guidance||Without examination without guidance|
When students choose for examination and guidance they will be guided in the learning process by experienced specialists. This means that at least once a week there is a meeting (skype, zoom etc.) with the trainer in which questions and issues of the course will be discussed. Admittedly, the best is, and will always be, to teach and guide at the spot, especially with starting horticultural companies, that there is an experienced agronomist present who can explain and guide things. But if that is not possible, then we have to switch to a setup in which the people concerned in the project can acquire the knowledge and skills through distance-oriented courses.
For whom are the current courses developed
These courses are not meant for very experienced growers. However, some of them can use the information in the courses as eye opener and reflection (see c).
But, these courses are mend for those people who will start to become responsible for the issue of climate control, fertilizing and irrigation, and so on. So e.g. in a greenhouse you need someone who will be responsible for the fertilizers, the measuring of the pH and EC and for the analyses and new receipts. Also for the stock of the fertilizers etc. All the courses will deliver you a very good base to build up your skills and knowledge as agronomist in a modern hydroponic greenhouse.
Climate is for the person who wants to learn all the issues of climate: humidity, fogging, temperatures, light, CO2 etc. etc. It is the person who will be responsible for arranging the optimum circumstances for the plants, so they can grow in optimum circumstances. To give an impression of this course, we show you here an example out of the course:
The course "organization" is mend for the decisionmakers. How to organize in an effective way a greenhouse. I have seen a lot of projects with too many employees and even with that amount, they cannot finish the work in time. It doesn't prescribe how you have to do it, but it gives suggestions to think how you can do it, and it prevents making too many costs by an organization, in an effective way.
Fertilizers in hydroponic
The fertilizers in hydroponic course requires some knowledge of chemistry in advance. If you do not have this, an introduction to chemistry for horticulture can be completed in advance. This can be supplied in parts on request.
The fertilizers in hydroponic course teaches the student: Elements: the macro and micro elements that are necessary for substrate cultivation. You will learn the function of water for the fertilization of plants, the calculations, and what means a mole, molar mass and concentration. Through cases, you will have to apply the knowledge acquired in this course.
For young people: Some countries doesn't have an education for greenhouse owners and workers. This is what we have in The Netherlands and these courses are filling up that lack in those countries and gives a possibility for education for greenhouse workers and greenhouse management.
When someone is starting a course he/she can get guidance by a specialist. This is optional and included in the price. You can expect you will have discussions with the specialist some time during the course. You can ask him/her your questions etc. For example in the course "organization" we don't pay attention to a very important issue in the total organization. Which issue is that and what information you need to fill in that lack? And when both persons agree, the total information about that issue is available for the participant. These points arrange that the participant is reading and searching in the content and in the practice and he/she is learning in an effective way.
So, in short:
a. courses are mend for people in greenhouses who will become responsible for the issue of the course (or for those people who are responsible for that issue to create an higher level)
b. courses mend for young people who choose to work in a greenhouse and wants to know the ins and outs of hydroponic growing in protected circumstances.
c. For those people who want to reflect and who want to delve deeper into the material to see whether the way in which they have worked to date is optimal
d. For new projects to lay a good foundation in the organization and implementation of cultivation.
The student can choose to do the course and finish it with examination or without examination.
In cooperation with Lentiz Course & Consult, it is possible to certificate the courses when the examination will be finished in a right way. These certificates are accredited and are useful and it proves the student knows the knowledge and has the skills. For getting the global Gap it is an important issue.
For more information: