Greenhouse vegetable growing is one of the agricultural spheres in Russia to suffer most from the pandemic. Spring quarantine measures hindered greenhouse launch plans, while banks have become more cautious with giving out loans. The general director of the company “Tehnologii Rosta”, Ms. Tamara Reshetnikova, mentioned that in the course of the New Technologies for the Economics conference. She underlined that greenhouse vegetable growing requires significant investments and companies very rarely finance it with own funds.
Because of the factors mentioned, by the end of the current year greenhouse acreage growth would slow down (in 2019 the growth comprised 15%). “It will happen not only because certain projects have been frozen but also because a number of greenhouses would not be able to overcome the current situation”, adds Ms. Reshetnikova. According to her, the projects that are at a final stage would be completed but those that have recently been started would most likely be frozen.
Ms. Reshetnikova also mentioned that tomato production has become more active recently: five years ago, its share in the overall greenhouse production comprised 25%; by the end of 2020, it would reach 40% and by 2024, 50%. “Producers realize that no matter how productive and flexible a cucumber can be, it is impossible to build a business solely on it. Cucumber greenhouse production is becoming less profitable”, mentioned Ms. Reshetnikova.
Russian tomatoes could replace the Turkish ones, especially given that the latter ones are normally represented by cheaper round varieties. Ms. Reshetnikova shared that about four years ago Turkish tomatoes were dictating their conditions in the Russian market, but now they have lost their weight and significance even despite the fact that the import has increased within the last two years. “Russian producers have taken over the Turkish ones”, added Ms. Reshetnikova.