Leaving for the Netherlands in June this year was to CTU President Rosein A. Ancheta Jr. a must-do trip to know firsthand activities of CTU Barili on-the-job training program with its 29th batch.
Dr. Ancheta and Barili Campus Director Genes Pasaje met Stichting Strategies (SS) Cebu’s Chairman Gerard Stokman who is based in Haarlemmermeer in North Holland Province. He is retiring this September; thus, given the need for more exposure of trainees to the work, talks were conducted to guarantee continued partnership with the companies in the Netherlands through whomever takes the next leadership.
The Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA) major in horticulture students are among those given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by the university to embrace the culture of one of Europe’s havens.
The route from Asia’s Cebu to Europe’s Haarlemmermeer traversed each year by horticulture students appears so short a distance once destination from home is as welcoming and refreshing.
The present group manifests the longstanding partnership between the university through SSCebu and the horticulture companies in the Netherlands.
Established in 2010, SSCebu is a development-oriented foundation based in Haarlemmermeer. It facilitates the placement, accommodation and general welfare of the students, making socio-cultural experiences at the center of it all.
In UPO’s trip to CTU Barili last week, it was confirmed that the next batch is headed to Haarlemmermeer this October. Participants are being housed in the campus’ hometel to prepare them for integration in the workplace.
Better working relationships have to be safeguarded, and through prior integration they will know each other better. Consequently, appropriate behaviors are deemed attainable.
So far, six (6) companies have accommodated the students apart from the eight (8) inactive industries that previously lent enormous expertise to on-the-job students.
Naktuinbouw (Netherlands Inspection Service) is a Dutch centre of knowledge in horticulture. It is a non-profit organization with more than 6000 member companies. It supervises inspection and gives certification in three sectors: floriculture, arboriculture and vegetables.
Since 2013, Naktuinbouw has accepted 8 practicum students to work in the different departments throughout their stay. It has one of the most highly technological trainings among the participating companies. Two of its four important departments are variety testing and inspection/quality/health monitoring.
Royal Van Zanten is another highly technical company engaged in breeding and tissue culture of buvaria, alstroemeria and chrysanthemum. Founded in 1862, it started with growing bulbs like tulips and hyacinths.
Next is Niewkoop which is one of the biggest distributors of hydro-cultured tropical plants in the Netherlands. Established by Hans Niewkoop in 1970, it now has 3 branches within the Netherlands and two more in Germany and France, employing more than 80 people.
Beginning in 2008 Niewkoop has hosted two practicum students per semester. At present, more than 25 students have practical experiences in the hydroculture of tropical plants which all adapted to Philippine climate.
Kwekerij is owned by Rober Van Der Lans who started as a mere worker in a company producing garden plants, saved some of his income for investment, and then bought part of the company when it was about to close.
It sells about 50 million potted garden plants per year throughout Europe. It has hosted 4 practicum students since 2014.
Rovawee is another tropical plant company. It started as Rozenkwkerij Rovawee when it was founded by Jan and Theo van Weerdenburg in 1969. In the 90s, they ventured into potted plants until all roses were gone when potted plants were successful.
Ficus, pachira, palmera and other tropical plants are imported from countries like China, Vietnam, Nicaragua and Surinam. These are acclimatized in the greenhouses and sold throughout Europe. Rovawee is the longest participating company in the practicum program, hosting more than 20 students since 2004.
JM Plants is named after its first owner, Johan Meewisse, who took over the company in 1978. It was located in Den Haag before being transferred to Rijsenhout in 1987.
Like other companies, it started with roses but later shifted to potted plants including ficus, monstera, diffenbachia, philodendron and various plants of genus Nepenthes.
JM Plants plays host to two practicum students every semester since it joined the program in 2014.
In 1996, the son, Roland Meewisse, took over the company but retained the father’s initial, JM Plants.
Intermittently helping out OJTs to learn the craft are Keebol BV, Joore V.O.F. Hydrangea Kwekerij, Handelskwekerij Ubink BV, Raaschelders BV. They produce bulbs, cacti, cymbidiums and orchids.
CTU Barili’s flagship is agriculture, and it continues to provide students different avenues to develop their skills even more.
Dr. Pasaje, in UPO’s interview, shared how he thought about changing the landscape of horticulture in the Philippines with the expertise of Haarlemmermeer people absorbed by the trainees. CTU Barili / UPO