Thanks to the recent expansion of the Iranian greenhouse market project, Zarrin Greenhouse Complex is now growing tomatoes on 10 hectare. Another 5 hectare is currently being realised. Pascual Miralles with Novagric explains how the company deals with hot summers and cold winters.
"Pad and fan cooling, a double screen installation, a fogging system, CO2 supplies and a hot water system”, Pascual sums up. "Growing on this location in Zarandieh, near Tehran, means having to cool your farm in summer and heating it in winter, so a lot of equipment is installed."
Novagric is the brand of Novedades Agricolas which has been launched because of the company 40th anniversary. Internationally the company was also known as APR, which is the company’s brand of greenhouses, but the company is more than just a greenhouse manufacturer as they design, manufacture and install their own systems for greenhouses and open field farms, and that’s how they want to be known because of the company itself and not just because of one of their products.
They have been responsible for the realization of the first two phases of the Zarrin Greenhouse Complex and for the current expansion. The project, supported by the government, is also a demo project for the Iran market: showing Iranian farmers the possibilities of high-tech growing. The plants grow under a single foil cover, on coco peat and on hanging gutters. Combined with the disinfection system it's possible to catch and recycle the drainage. "As we did with our other Iranian project, as the 5 hectare tomato farm, we've also secured agronomical engineers to help the growers set up and teach them how to grow and use the systems. I'm happy to say both projects are doing very well and the growers are happy with their instalments", Pascual shares.
As said, currently another 5 hectares is being built, a copy of phase 1 and 2. Novagric has machines present to bend the gutters for this expansion. Whereas both projects are eager to expand with serious sized greenhouses (Zarrin Greenhouse Complex even wants to grow to a 50 hectare company), politics are a serious issue. "There are opportunities for Iranian growers in the horticultural industry. By improving the quality they can grow for the Iranian market and export for example to Russia and other nearby countries."
However, even though the opportunities, plans and resources, including money, are available, politics makes it impossible nowadays to continue the expansion of the market. "When the blockade of Iran was released five years ago we've seen the opportunities in the market and started to work here", Pascual tells. Due to the current payment limitations it's very hard for them now to answer to the financial needs of the projects. "We'll keep on supporting our projects there but waiting until the situation changes again to keep on going with the expansion on the market. In this way, exporting is politics", Pascual concludes.