Fall Creek Farm and Nursery® is globally renowned for providing exceptional plants to the blueberry industry. These exceptional plants come from carefully designed proprietary tissue culture-, rooting-, and hardening-off processes. A significant challenge during the quarantine period of imported varieties, is the inefficiency of tissue culture facilities to successfully root- and harden-off plants under optimal conditions.
On 23 August 2023, Fall Creek® South Africa’s Tissue Culture facility received approval from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALLRD) to also function as a Post-Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility. This will allow us to manage imported material through all quarantine stages, including the tissue culture phase for in vitro establishment and micropropagation, and the greenhouse phase for hardening off and quarantine testing.
The facility will be managed by highly skilled individuals with international training from our affiliates. A global plant tracking system will be used to efficiently monitor plants from their origin through various phases — multiplication, propagation, and production — to final sampling for quarantine testing. The system ensures effective tracking of documents and plants throughout the entire plant growing process, including importation, the PEQ, DUS stage testing, variety evaluation, and production.
South African growers need a steady supply of new genetics to compete on a global scale. Our PEQ facility will help achieve this and improve the variety development process by closely managing importation, quarantine testing and evaluation of high quality plants. This in return will result in minimal loss while fostering valuable relationships within the broader berry community. The PEQ facility is therefore a valuable resource for South African growers, giving them a competitive edge in the global market.