A record yield of greenhouse vegetables is harvested in the Lipetsk Oblast

The “Vesti-Lipetsk” program on Russia 1 channel aired a story about the record amount of indoor-grown vegetables harvested in the region. The total volume of production reached 100,000 tons, which is one third more than last year. According to the official data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the Lipetsk Oblast is the country’s leader in harvesting greenhouse vegetables. Such indicators were achieved largely due to the presence of “Ovoschi Chernozemya” greenhouse complex in the region, which operates as a part of ECO-Culture holding. The enterprise is located in Usman district and is mainly focused on tomato growing. The TV program camera crew visited the complex and interviewed its employees.

The authors of the video figuratively described the greenhouse complex as “65 hectares of eternal summer”. This is where they grow half of all indoor vegetables in the region. The reporters talked to the enterprise’s horticulturist, Lidia Kosyreva, who has been working in the greenhouse since its very first opening and lives in the regional center. According to the employee, it was the working conditions – cleanliness, spaciousness, good pay – that attracted her to the complex. The production volumes have never been reduced, not even during the pandemic. This ensures that the employees are always in-demand and given work.

The total number of people working at the Lipetsk facility is 1,200. The horticulturists here are responsible for the entire production cycle – from soil preparation to harvesting. The latter, according to Lidia, is the most enjoyable part of the process. The crops are harvested from October to July of the following year and this is done by hand. The most bright and fragrant bunches are delivered to Lipetsk Oblast retail outlets, while still unripe vegetables are packed in boxes to be shipped to more distant regions.

Right in the middle of the pandemic, the new distribution center was launched, creating another 300 jobs for the region’s residents. The facility, meanwhile, continues to expand – according to Mikhail Veretennikov, the CEO of the complex, the enterprise is now lacking 250 more employees – vegetable growers, sorters, and packers. The company offers the highest comfort working conditions – the employees are provided with transportation to their homes, they work in a safe environment fully complying with all the safety precautions. The enterprise has not been shut down for quarantine and shows no intention of doing so in the future.

There are plans to commission the third phase of greenhouses very soon. This is expected to increase the area of the enterprise by another 20 hectares. Once it reaches full capacity, the production volume will reach 55,000 tons of vegetables per year.

You can watch the full video piece in Vesti Lipetsk program.