The meeting room at the Agricultural Institute in Châteuneuf was filled with undivided attention. Mr. Sébastien Besse was explaining how apricot growers in the Wallis had begun to modify the treas varieties in their orchards over the past few years. Previously, all their fruit ripened within roughly a 3-week period and flooded the market.
After this short time, they had nothing more to offer. Now, they have begun to integrated different varieties of apricot trees into their orchards, some of which ripen earlier, some later. In this way, they have been able to extend the production season to 3-4 months, which benefits both the customers as well as growers, who are able to sell their produce at a higher price.
Even if this kind of marketing perspective does not yet play a significant role in the thinking of North Korean fruit growers, they listen attentively and engage one another in lively discussions about the new input. I enjoy seeing how this group of people from all over their country interacts together, quickly integrating the information from Swiss instructors into their discussions.
I thoroughly enjoyed joining the group for one day, where I could interact with the interns directly. One of them, Mr. Kim, is an instructor at an agricultural college and will play a vital role in transferring this knowledge to others in his country. I am excited at the possibility of multiplying the impact of this training in a very practical way that also encourages these individuals to implement the new techniques wherever they can be applied.