Sergey Fomenkov, APH ECO-Culture:

"Greenhouse vegetable production is promising but expensive for Russia"

The APH ECO-Culture Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Sergey Fomenkov, was recently interviewed by Russian national magazine “Agrarnaya Politika”. The subject line was the greenhouse business in Russia, import substitution challenges, and prospects of greenhouse horticulture in the country.

In the interview, Sergey Fomenkov said that greenhouse vegetable production is quite promising, but rather expensive business for Russia which has a long payback period (about 7-8 years). This is probably one of the reasons why this industry is being underfunded.

The holding’s VP noted that demand for high-quality domestic vegetables has evolved, but the market is not able to satisfy 100 per cent of that just yet.

There are other issues to work on in the industry, apart from cost-effectiveness. The productivity of greenhouse complexes largely depends on their geography, availability of qualified personnel, well-designed logistics system and a sufficient number of distribution channels. Greenhouse equipment, agricultural technologies and plant-care techniques used are equally important.

Sergey Fomenkov referred to the shortage of professional staff as one of the key challenges of the domestic greenhouse industry. There are almost no special schools for this kind of specialists in Russia yet, this is why APH ECO-Culture is forced to train their staff by themselves or send employees to study abroad.

Despite all difficulties, there still are prospects for progress in the Russian greenhouse industry. APH is planning to expand their capacities in Stavropol Krai and build new greenhouses in other regions of the country and overseas.

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