‘In the past year costs have risen enormously’

Johan Aelterman is third-generation begonia cultivator, growing six varieties on nine hectares in Destelbergen (Belgium). He runs the company with his wife Ann and his brother Kris. “Through mechanisation and automation, we have managed to keep the company running without external staff and to expand it over the years. Besides tuberous begonias, we also grow tagetes. These are part of our rotation system, replacing the begonias after three years to prevent the formation of nematodes. We also use biofumigation. This biological control is necessary because successful chemical pesticides were taken off the market years ago.” (..)

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