Over the last couple of years and thanks to governmental support, the Russian horticultural industry has seen tremendous growth. Nowadays there is a completely different situation for the Russian market. In surrounding CIS-countries the industry is emerging. During the annual event "Greenhouse Complexes Russia and CIS 2019" these challenges were discussed extensively.
Тепличный комплекс открыт! Not a week goes by without a Russian paper publishing about a new greenhouse endeavour being opened. The industry has been growing rapidly over the last years and is estimated to reach an acreage of 1000 hectare of high-tech greenhouses next year.
During the forum it was discussed how this situation has changed. In the industry competition has risen and so have the energy prices. On top of that at the end of 2018 the governmental support system was promptly switched from a system supporting the expansion projects itself into a system in what only the financing of the projects can be subsidised, making expansion plans more expensive. During the forum therefore growers asked for support: either on the energy system or to get export started, something that they hope will help them get better prices for their crops. The government though was clear - this will not be happening.
It could be one of the reasons that last year during the event greenhouse builders were present, but nowadays they've chosen to skip the 2-day event. Light suppliers on the other hand were omni-present.
More from less
During the event therefore there was a lot of focus on bettering the production. The yield numbers of Russian greenhouses can be improved and many suppliers want to take these chances. Light suppliers for example are present and took the opportunity to share the possibilities of supplemental lighting. In addition multiple systems to help growers get better control over their crop were discussed: Pylot, for example, the Paskal products and the sensor solutions provided by 2Grow, helping growers to control their greenhouses remotely and on larger scale by providing data on the performance.
Other topics discussed included growing solutions like varieties and propagation, biological crop protection and greenhouse management, but also growers stories on how to better their market position by implementing automation, packaging solutions and building a brand.
While the growth of the Russian market might seem to slow down, the industries in the surrounding countries are investing in their greenhouse acreage. Kazachstan, Oezbekistan, Azerbeidjan - there are numerous projects started here. For technical suppliers the opportunities are different: since there's more sunlight, the need for additional lighting is lower and where the Russians almost immediately chose for Dutch suppliers since the costs were not really an issue and they wanted to be sure to work with high-quality materials, in these markets the price is a much bigger topic and there are opportunities for suppliers of all places here.