ECO-Culture intends to increase the Voronezhsky greenhouse complex capacity

The Kommersant-Chernozemye website published an article about the ECO-Culture’s plans in Voronezh Oblast. The story was focused on the meeting between Alexander Rudakov, the President of the agricultural holding, and Governor Alexander Gusev, as well as on the company’s investment policy and long-term development strategy.

The centerpiece, of course, was holding’s intention to increase the capacity of greenhouse facilities in the region to 100 hectares. In particular, the company elaborates projects for the construction of the 4th stage of the Voronezhsky complex. Once commissioned, the enterprise will become the largest greenhouse facility in Europe. Experts expect the initiative to greatly contribute to nationwide import substitution efforts.

The meeting of the President of the agricultural holding and the Governor of the region was aimed to discuss the development of indoor vegetable production in the Bobrovsky district of Voronezh Oblast. According to Alexander Rudakov, right now the project has already attracted more than 22 billion rubles. So far, only the first phase of greenhouses has been put into operation, while the second phase is expected to start growing cucumbers in January 2022. The third phase, respectively, will be launched in September 2022. Apart from that, the company is also planning to build the fourth stage. The Governor Alexander Gusev declared the regional authorities’ willingness to “elaborate ways to assist the investor within the arrangements existing”.

The article also reports that the investment activity of the holding goes beyond the expansion of the Voronezhsky complex. Thus, new areas are being built in Stavropol Krai, along with Moscow Oblast, Dagestan, and Kabardino-Balkaria.

As noted by the online newspaper, the total area of winter greenhouses in Russia increased from 3,000 hectares to 3,200 hectares in 2021. The production volume of cucumbers, meanwhile, is twice as high as that of tomatoes. This growth, however, is not only driven by the introduction of new facilities but by an increase in average yields as well.

The construction of modern large-scale greenhouses is an indoor vegetable production experience that is unique not only in Russia. While there are massive areas of film-covered greenhouses being built in Turkey and Spain, those only serve as a shelter for plants from adverse weather conditions. Meanwhile, European production capacities and technological cycles are not comparable to the Russian scale. Of course, it is something required by the manufacturers, as European companies operate different markets and distances. In Russia, however, the trend toward large-scale, year-round, full-cycle complexes seems fully justified.

Today, tomatoes are the only vegetable crop massively imported into Russia. Despite ECO-Culture’s significant contribution to import substitution, vegetables are still entering the domestic market from Turkey, Morocco, and other countries. This, fortunately, only means there is room for Russian producers to develop.

For the full text of the article, please visit the Kommersant-Chernozemye official website.