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The director of the Tulskiy greenhouse complex gave an interview to a local TV channel

A thematic report dedicated to the work of farming facilities in the region was aired on the Pervyi Tulsky (“First Tulsky”) TV channel. The program authors talked to executives of large, medium, and small agro-industrial enterprises of the Oblast to find out what problems are they dealing with and what are the future prospects for domestic agriculture.

Igor Pochechuyev, the CEO of the Tulsky greenhouse complex, was among the channel’s main respondents.

Background Information. The complex is a part of ECO-Culture agricultural holding and has been cultivating tomatoes and cucumbers indoors since early 2020. So far, the first stage of the complex has been put into operation. The project is scheduled to be launched at full capacity by 2022. The total area of greenhouses is expected to amount to 77.8 hectares.

The first question of the host concerned the prospects of agriculture in Russia – how should domestic agricultural enterprises work in order not only to survive but to get real profit from the business. According to Igor Pochechuyev, the main problem of organic farming is the establishment of an effective framework of production at all stages, including the sale of products. When it comes to organic vegetables, we talk about serious investments, which inevitably affect the final cost of the product. Only a large-scale business can provide a return on investment – small businesses involved in such production initially risk losing profits. Just 10 years ago, it was possible to sell vegetables through markets or small private stores. Right now, the main sales channel is retailing. And collaboration with the leading chains requires large and uninterrupted supplies.

When asked how much it would cost to open a greenhouse production now, the CEO said that the average price for modern greenhouses is 200 million rubles per hectare. Also, it is unprofitable to start up greenhouses with the area less than 50 ha. It is not difficult to calculate what amount is needed to launch a full-scale facility in Russia, designed for a permanent income and long-term implementation.

Further discussion touched upon the conditions required to open a modern greenhouse. Igor Pochechuyev described the process of launching a greenhouse production in detail. This includes finding a suitable construction site, bringing in utilities, ordering metal structures for structures, conducting networks for watering and irrigation, the construction of a boiler room and a power sub-station to provide electricity. This is only the initial stage of the greenhouse complex launch. It is followed by the internal arrangement of greenhouses and the organization of a continuous cycle of crop cultivation. At the same time, there are many negative factors affecting the final result (along with income generation) – all of them should be either eliminated or minimized. Only in this case, the greenhouse will be able to meet the costs invested in it. Igor Pochechuyev gave examples when large agribusinesses completely lost their crops due to some mistakes made at one of the production stages.

During the subsequent conversation, the head of the Tulsky greenhouse complex spoke about the advantages of Dutch technology, the prospects for the development of domestic agricultural industry, government support for greenhouse business, soft loans, the payback period of projects, and factors that hinder the progressive development of greenhouse business in our country.

For the full version of the program, please visit the Pervyi Tulsky’s Youtube channel.