The majority of fruit farmers in South Africa, labor under the impression that it is impossible to grow fruit without using pesticides, fertilisers and fungicides and herbicides. So the team went out to Grabouw to meet Michael Pravow. Michael has now retired, but for a long time was the only organic and apple tree farmer in South Africa.
Judy asks if there is anything that anybody would like to say about what you’ve learned today?
Do you think that people that the human demand for perfect and immediate fruits and vegetables without blemishes, that that is more at fault to the companies pushing the pesticides and herbicides and GMO’s, or is it working together and people are being misinformed, thinking that it is the best solution?
That’s a very good question. I think it’s not anyone alone. Each one has its own agenda. The supermarket wants to sell its lettuces and that lettuce has to look good, and it has to be in a packet, and it has to be blown up and it’s got to last 10 days. If you go and pick lettuce in the garden, it might last 5 days, but it’s more nutritious and what have you. They haven’t filled it with ozone or done something. So these are issues. Then the fertilizer guy says we are short of magnesium, so put in this, or the pesticide guy says you’ve got this or that bug, spray it with this. That is all involved at the end of the day. There was no one fertiliser guy or insect or pesticide guy or company came to me, per se. I had to study it all, and then go and look for the people, and then slowly people started thinking to themselves, that there was maybe an opportunity here.