Enhancing Agricultural Efficiency at Frutesa with Advanced Technology

Hunter Weber

May 31, 2024 at 4:45 pm | Updated June 3, 2024 at 3:53 pm | 2 min read

Interview with Roman Molina, Agronomist at Frutesa, Guatemala

Background and Journey

Roman Molina, an agronomist with 19 years of experience in the fruit and vegetable export industry, currently manages the agricultural division at Frutas Tropicales de Guatemala, S.A. (Frutesa). His responsibilities include overseeing the production of Sugar Snap Peas, Snow Peas, and Avocados. Roman’s passion for farming was cultivated from a young age, having grown up in a farming family.

Daily Responsibilities

At Frutesa, Roman’s day-to-day work involves managing both the company’s own production programs and coordinating with third-party production units to ensure a steady supply of high-quality fruits and vegetables. His role requires a blend of strategic planning and hands-on management to maintain and enhance production efficiency.

Technological Advancements with the Avo Meter

Roman’s experience with the avo meter has been transformative. This device has significantly streamlined the monitoring process for dry matter content in avocados. Previously, the traditional method required extensive sampling and transportation of samples from the field to the packing plant. This method was labor-intensive and time-consuming, often involving 10-15 samples, each consisting of 20-25 fruits per lot.

The introduction of the avo meter has revolutionized this process. “The avo meter facilitates our monitoring process of dry matter, making it easier and faster than the traditional method,” Roman explains. The device’s accuracy and efficiency have saved both time and money, allowing for more precise measurements and reducing the need for extensive field sampling.

Process Modifications and Benefits

With the implementation of the avo meter, Frutesa quickly adapted their processes to maximize its benefits. Starting with one meter, they soon acquired another due to the immediate improvements in decision-making speed. Field measurements provided real-time results, enabling quicker scheduling of harvests and allowing the plant quality team to focus on other critical tasks.

However, the transition wasn’t without challenges. “It has been difficult for us to calibrate the equipment,” Roman admits. Despite this, the overall benefits, particularly in terms of time and cost savings, have been substantial.

Advice for Other Users

Roman advises other users to always keep more backup batteries for their avo meters. This simple yet crucial tip ensures that the devices remain operational during critical monitoring periods.

Industry Engagement

In addition to his work at Frutesa, Roman stays engaged with the broader agricultural industry by attending various tradeshows such as PMA, Fruit Logistica, SIAL, and Agritrade. These events provide valuable opportunities for networking, learning about new technologies, and staying updated on industry trends.

Roman Molina’s experience with the avo meter at Frutesa highlights the significant impact that technological advancements can have on agricultural practices. By embracing innovative tools, Frutesa has enhanced its efficiency, reduced costs, and improved the overall quality of its produce. Roman’s journey underscores the importance of adaptability and continuous improvement in the agricultural sector.

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