Colin Fernandes, Kenya, announced as AIPH Young International Grower of the Year 2024

Colin Fernandes, Trial Site Coordinator for Marginpar, Kenya, received the Young International Grower of the Year Award at an International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) awards ceremony held on Tuesday 23 January 2024 in Essen, Germany.

This award is part of the AIPH International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) Awards 2024, which celebrates the best of the best in ornamentals production. The Young IGOTY category recognises vibrant individuals, aged 25-40, who will lead the industry into the future. Entrants were participants of Jungle Talks’ Pro Manager Mastercourse.

Before Colin joined Marginpar, there was no trial site in Kenya. Colin was responsible for setting the location up and its subsequent management. After just four years, the location has become a productive trial site under the cohesive work of Colin and his team. One achievement of Colin’s of note is the introduction of Sanguisorba – Red Dream to the market. This is the first time this variety has been commercially grown in Africa.

“It feels absolutely amazing to have won this award,” Colin said. “I couldn’t have done it without my team. It’s a great stepping stone that will help me in the future to come. The Mastercourse has been one of the best experiences I’ve had so far. A two-week intensive course with some really inspirational people, it’s been amazing.”

Colin, along with the other finalists, presented his ideas to an international jury of horticultural professionals. The judges were: Leonardo Capitanio, President of AIPH and owner of Vivai Capitanio, Italy; Eliot Barden, Past YIGOTY winner and Aftercare, Apprenticeship and Training Director for Majestic Trees, UK; and Puck van Holsteijn, CEO of World Horti Center and CEO of HortiHeroes, Netherlands.

Leonardo Capitanio commented: “Colin has rapidly achieved an important role in Marginpar. He has a good eye for the future, developing product and people; effectively managing teams in different countries. This, alongside his valuable international experience makes him an inspirational manager and grower and a worthy winner.”

AIPH thanks Host Sponsor IPM Essen, Founding Partner FloraCulture International, Sapphire Sponsors GLOBALG.A.P. & GGN Label and Greeningup, Pearl Sponsors Greenhouse Sustainability, Green is Life, and MyPlant & Garden, and Media Partners Economía & Viveros, Guiaverde, Horticulture Week, Grower Talks/Green Profit, and Pod Osłonami PL for their support of the awards.

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