"Faruk has been involved in Avocado venture in Greece well before the planting time. He worked very hard to identify the right places for planting, by analysing the soil, water and scrutinising a lot of other factors, including finding historical records for the last 10 years from the local and district meteorological department.
He advised us on the right root stock, and visited and various nurseries in Spain in order to get the very best.
He visited Greece regularly and advised us on nutrition, pests, diseases, pruning etc... Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we had no visits in 2020 but we were in constant contact by phone or email and even WhatsApp. His advice and help was second to none. We have found Faruk to be scientific in his approach, very professional, and his advice has given us great confidence to carry on the avocado farming"
AVOGREC SA - AVOCADO GROWER, GREECE
"We asked Faruk Ghumra to be our advisor because he has a long experience of several decades in the cultivation of citrus fruits in many countries.
He has been supporting us since the start of the project in 2018 in the establishment of our farm with regular farm visits followed by in-depth reports. On the strength of these exchanges, we have particularly appreciated: - his knowledge of the field: possibility of establishing a rapid diagnosis of the culture by observation (colour, shine, leaf shape for example). An example of his knowledge from other countries was this:
We had unusual symptoms on our leaves. He diagnosed these as being caused by the fungus Amycosphaerella africana which causes Greasy spot. This was the first known report of this disease in Portugal. His recommendations on controlling this disease, again based on scientific knowledge, has reduced it to a non-significant level.
His excellent sources of information: professional network, scientific bibliographical sources which make it possible to deepen the field diagnostics and the results of laboratory analysis (soil, leaves, sap and water for example). Due to our soils being very heavy he suggested that growth could be improved if we had more oxygen in the root area. He has introduced us to Moleaer whose nanobubble technology does exactly that.
His excellent ability to analyse, interpret laboratory results and base his recommendations on them, as well as his analytical mind. He has a scientific approach to answering questions, providing to each problem the proposed solutions always supported by precise numerical analyses as well as by very well-informed scientific documents. He is able to think outside the box. For example he introduced us to the Wignest from Russell IPM which is meant to attract earwigs into the field. However, he converted it’s use to attracting those insects that were already in the field , away from the plants and into these Wignests from where they could be disposed of without using chemicals.
His great knowledge of existing products on the market for use in organic farming: following a diagnosis, he is able to orient on the existing product(s) that will provide the desired response. We have had very good guidance on nutrition of the plants based on soil and leaf analysis but he has recently moved us to work with plant sap analysis as the results from such an analysis reflect the current situation within the plant - unlike leaf tissue analysis. We are already seeing the benefit of doing this.
In summary, Faruk Ghumra provides us with reliable regular support and advice extremely reassuring and solid. On top of that, he is easy to work with and that makes these joint work sessions greatly appreciated by all the employees.
Monin, French Citrus Grower based in Portugal
Faruk Ghumra first approached us through a third party in mid-2016. He was then working for H L Hall and Sons of South Africa and had been tasked to find grower partners in Europe/north Africa who could grow avocados for the counter season to the South African production period.
We agreed to go into a joint venture with Halls but in 2017 Halls decided not to invest in land, citing a preference to invest in infrastructure such as packhouses, cold rooms and the necessary machinery also in Europe.
As Faruk wanted to continue in the field, he joined us as our Technical Manager, to develop our 400 hectares, in late 2017. He stayed till early 2020. During this, period he successfully:
- Interacted with the topographers to work out where the fields would be demarcated and what needed levelling
- Supervised the preparation of the land and drainage canals as necessary
- Supervised the construction of farm roads
- Sampled soils to determine the irrigation and fertiliser needs of each field
- Sampled irrigation water to determine suitability for growing avocados as this was going to be the first commercial avocado project in the area
- Samples soils and calculated fertiliser requirements for the first five years for each field
- As the project was to be in organic production mode he contacted the main suppliers of inputs for organic arming in Portugal and some in Spain too. From this he drew out a list of products that we could use.
Faruk has contacts worldwide. On of these is Lynwood Nursery in New Zealand who are a specialist clonal avocado nursery. Through Faruk we were able to get an agreement that Lynwood would provide us with technical expertise in the production of clonal avocado trees which is much more complex than producing seedling trees.
Judging from the technical services Faruk provided elsewhere, we believe that our project would have been in good hands technically. We can verify that also as he is also helping us out with our citrus and avocado fields near Valencia in Spain.
To summarise, we would strongly recommend Faruk or any position that requires technical and man management input.
This serves to confirm that Mr. Faruk Ghumra kindly reviewed a chapter titled “Advances in pre-harvest management of avocados”, in a book that | have written, titled: “Sustainable production and postharvest handling of avocados".
This book, which is one in a series, is under production to be published by Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, UK, very early next year.
In addition to reviewing the chapter Mr. Ghumra has also provided excellent photos which are used within the book. | am extremely happy to say that | and the publisher, are very pleased with the excellent work and assistance that Mr. Ghumra has kindly provided, which significantly improved the chapter and therefore the whole book.
Elhadi M Yahia, Emeritus Professor, Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico
Successfully introduced new crops to large growers
Depth and breadth of experience from rootstock and soil to irrigation, disease management and pruning
Led by latest evidence based scientific principles and techniques
Track record of increasing yields by over 25%
Years of quality control experience with importers, with an eye for identifying and managing pathology at the source
Years of work in citrus and avocado growing
Track record of successful disease control of disorders caused by newly imported pathogens
Fluent in over six international languages