PICO Modern Agriculture, established in 1974, was the pioneer in planting locally non-existing varieties of fruit in desert Egyptian land. “We have a dynamic portfolio,” states Muhammad Galal Fayed, regional sales manager. “We are obsessed by introducing new varieties, thus boosting the traditional Egyptian industry. We were one of the first to connect with global breeders and establish local tissue culture labs which is becoming now the biggest in the region. We start the propagation of new varieties and observe weather they are suitable for being grown domestically.”
New seedless grapes varieties from various global breeders are one of the illustrations: introduced initially by PICO, it currently stands for 75% of total grapes export from Egypt. “It is tasty, flavoured and has a long shelf life and fits the window left by competitors and also suitable to serve long distance consumers globally; so our choice proved right,” says Fayed. Another innovation launched by PICO were strawberry nurseries, which increased country’s export opportunities.
Being on the frontline of the industry, the company introduced avocado to Egypt. “While other growers prefer familiar crops, easier to handle, to secure stable profitability without innovation or adding add value to the business chain, we were ready to take the challenge and overcome barriers,” explains Fayed. “We educate consumers why and how to eat avocado and its positive impact on their daily diet and health routine, organise in-store tastings in supermarkets, and likewise, we educate farmers by carrying out field days.”
Today the company is not only a large grower and exporter of soft and exotic fruits, but also the country’s pioneer grower of avocado varieties in Egypt.