Locals at a remote province in frozen Kazakhstan are enjoying locally-grown vegetables for the first time, and improved employment, after Netafim installed a hi-tech glasshouse.

It’s the first-time vegetables are being grown in Atyrau province, where long sub-zero winters have previously made agriculture almost impossible.

The location is so remote - 230km from the nearest city and 2,000km from the country’s capital Astana – that even importing fresh vegetables has been too expensive.

But now local residents, as well as gas and oil workers employed by Atyrau Sauda LLC, can afford high-quality and nutritious vegetables all year round.

Lacking agricultural experience, Atyrau Sauda LLC contracted Netafim to build a bespoke, cold-resistant two-hectare glasshouse.

The glasshouse was designed specifically for the location and inhospitable climate, and is now yielding 1,100 tons of vegetables a year.

Netafim was also responsible for capacity building, and the glasshouse has so far created dozens of well-paid jobs in an area where there are scarce employment opportunities.

Workers were fully trained by Netafim to operate all systems in the glasshouse, including the operation of an independent nursery.

The challenge for Netafim wasn’t just the cold. It also had to deal with the heat in the summer months, which meant making sure the glasshouse kept operating at a constant temperature throughout the year, despite the extremes.

Netafim continues to provide ongoing technical and agronomic support for the glasshouse on the ground through its local support team.

The company is proud to be contributing in a small but significant way to the socio-economic development of this remote region of Kazakhstan.

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