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“I lived in Costa Rica, when I heard of HAS University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands”, says Soleil. “The Netherlands is quite big in plant breeding and a lot of important companies are here. I also really like the different perspectives on horticulture my study is teaching me. For instance, researchers are always quite focused on the details and what is best for the growth of the plant.


The business side of horticulture would rather look at the benefits for the company and the cost. The multidisciplinary setting of my study helps me to look at solutions that take into account these different point of views.”

Soleil was born in Venezuela, a country that is currently suffering from a political, economic and humanitarian crisis. Production and quality of crops in both the horti- and agricultural sector have decreased and it could take a lot of time to build up the country again. Soleil: “It is my dream to one day take all my knowledge to Venezuela and help the industry to develop again. As both water and fertilizers are scarce, I think we need to look at variety production and genetics, for instance, in order to minimize the input and produce higher yields. There is a lot of work to do. Growing a plant is really complex, it’s a tricky path.”

One of the most important developments in our industry is automation, according to Soleil. “There is an annual scientific challenge which involves the growth of tomatoes without any human interaction, to see which group realizes the highest yield. Basically the robots and sensors in the greenhouse do all the work!”


Source: The Green Times, Meet the Next Generation