Pico-Gro was established in 1995 by Erika and Machiel Oberholzer and Anina and Christo Rademan.
During the first few years, Pico-Gro produced young plants primarily for the cut flower farmers of
South Africa. As agents of Danziger, an Israeli based breeder of fillers for the cut flower
industry, Pico-Gro was instrumental in the introduction of various new filler varieties to
South Africa. Of these, Million Stars, a small flowering Gypsophila, is most probably the best known.
In time, the emphasis of Pico-Gro shifted to herbs and essential oil producing plants, an exciting branch
of agriculture that is receiving more and more attention in South Africa.
Erika was recently chosen as the Female Farmer of the year in Gauteng. Her contribution to agriculture
in South Africa in general, as well as her enthusiastic commitment to the establishment of essential oil
farming as a viable business enterprise in South Africa, is the basis on which she received this award.
Experience and Training
Erika studied at RAU and received a BSc degree in Biochemistry and Botany. After completion of her
honours degree in 1990, she joined the ARC (Agricultural Research Council) in Irene.
After 8 years in formal employment, she decided that it was time to strike out on her own. With the help of her husband, Machiel,
and dear friend, Christo Rademan, Pico-Gro was born.
In the ensuing years, she learnt through trials and tribulations and can truly say that her success in
business is the result of hard years of schooling in the “University of Life”
In the 10 years since the establishment of Pico-Gro, hands on experience in both Propagation Technology
and Business Management, was gained and the current success of Pico-Gro can be chalked up entirely to this.
In 2004, she added a qualification in Project Management to her résumé and is utilizing this knowledge both
in the expansion of Pico-Gro and to assist emerging farmers in the establishment of various farming enterprises.
Machiel’s Masters degree in Engineering and his MBA are of great value in the construction and maintenance
departments of a business such as Pico-Gro. He also plays an important role in the financial management and
strategic planning of the business.