In the current circumstances, where enterprises are facing certain financial difficulties, it is still possible to help others. The Pensa greenhouse complex supplies free produce to volunteers and healthcare specialists, as well as to animals kept at the zoo.
"We may look a bit unusual now, but the precautions are necessary," tells head of the complex, Ms. Elena Shleina. This is one of the few enterprises that continues functioning despite the pandemic, which negative impact was felt immediately.
"We are very lucky that our enterprise has a non-stop production cycle, we kept all our employees and did not close down. People always need their vitamins. We have had financial complications, but now the government of the Russian Federation and that of the region of Pensa provide us with significant support, including us in the anti-crisis management programs", mentions Elena. The enterprise employs about 300 associates, each of which has to wear a protective mask during the whole shift.
The greenhouse grows bio produce, which is proved by multiple bumblebees skillfully pollinating the crops. "14 out of the 16 hectares are bee pollinated cucumbers", Elena says.
While the cucumbers are ready to be picked, the tomatoes are yet to be planted. The tomatoes of the new crop will be ready for tasting at the end of June. Seedlings are ready for the summer season: bell peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and other high demand vegetables are in the assortment of the enterprise. The production process is fully automated and can be controlled on the computer screen in the laboratory.
“We grow about 30 varieties of produce and are now starting the seasonal sale. We mostly cater for local consumers”, mentions Elena. Celosia is a newcomer at the enterprise, which successfully implements newly selected varieties. Head of the bio laboratory of the Pensa greenhouse complex, Mr. Valentin Lyakutkin, shares that celosia is used to warmer weather and that the enterprise is only beginning to introduce it to more severe conditions. Currently, the greenhouse provides two varieties of red and yellow color.
The enterprise is a socially responsible one. When COVID-19 reached Pensa region, the greenhouse complex provided free produce to those who happened to be on the frontline, to the healthcare professionals and volunteers. Apart from that, almost 3000 tons of cucumbers were supplied to the zoo.