Georgia Peanut Tour brings in record attendance
CAMILLA, Ga. (WALB) - A record number of guests attended the Georgia Peanut tour this year. More than 200 people were on the tour. Five countries outside the U.S. were represented, along with 14 other states.
The tour is used for farmers and business leaders to understand everything about growing peanuts. That includes harvesting, transporting, shelling, manufacturing, research, among others.
Archileo Natigo is a professor from Uganda. He said he wanted perspective about what’s different here and how he can improve things in his community.
“It’s important teamwork is maintained. Those who are farmers, the farmers aren’t assisted by the government. And I think that’s what we need to do,” Natigo said.
Like many third-world countries, Uganda is behind in both technology and research. The farms there are small and are harvested by hand. He hopes better technology would change that.
“We have to improve peanut production in my country. The volumes are small. We try to assure quality in my country but I think we lack something,” Natigo said.
Raphael Melo is an international student from Brazil studying plant physiology. He came to learn about how he can expand peanut production where he’s from.
“The industry here is huge. They have machinery. They have all kinds of professors, extension agents, researchers and others,” Melo said.
He wants to become the resource that the Georgia ag extensions are to South Georgia farmers.
Business leaders from outside the country were also on the tour. They were looking to make good contacts with our leaders.
“They are looking for good, quality peanuts and Georgia, of course, is the largest producer of peanuts,” John Harrell, a grower from Grady County, said.
Harrell has been on the tour since the 1980s. The international aspect has always been a part for him. Harrell said the more people that know about peanuts, the better.
“Most of the time, they’re not really our competition. They are over here to learn and see how we do it versus how they do it and they take stuff home. I’m pretty sure if you went over to Australia, say, we would take something from over there,” Harrell said.
Harrell is set to harvest his own cotton and peanut crops starting in a few weeks.
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