Writtle students given insight into tomato and avocado growing on Spanish study tour

Writtle horticulture students on a study tour in Almeria in Spain. Picture: WRITTLE UNIVERSITY COLLE

Writtle horticulture students on a study tour in Almeria in Spain. Picture: WRITTLE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE - Credit: Archant

Horticulture and agriculture students from Writtle University College have been given an insight into the commercial production of tomatoes and other fruit and vegetable crops during a study tour to Almeria in Spain.

During a five-day trip, the BSc (Hons) Horticulture and MSc Postharvest and Crop Production students were shown how major producers and processors operated, including CASI, one of the largest exporters in the world and Glinwell, which produces tomatoes exclusively for Tesco in the UK.

Writtle’s Henry Matthews said the aim was to show students up-to-date approaches to sustainable crop production and postharvest technology. “It is an invaluable learning experience,” he said.

Students learnt about different growing regimes for tomatoes, such as incorporating green crop waste back into the soil to reduce the need for fertilisers and water.

They also heard about the potential for papaya production and issues surrounding this such as how to mimic the growing conditions found in South America.

They visited Vicasol to find out about the production and export of vegetables and fruits, including tomato, pepper, courgette and melon.

At Primaflor, a company dedicated to processed vegetables ready to eat, they were shown fields of lettuce and other vegetables, and the growing process from automated seed sowing, growing of plug plants, harvesting of ‘cut and come again’ baby leaves through to the finished bagged product.

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They also went to Grupo La Caña in Motril, Granada, which produces and exports tomatoes, peppers and avocado.