A festive moment in the Parkent district in Uzbekistan, where last week, the first plants were planted in a new greenhouse. In the 4,5 ha enterprise, strawberries and tomatoes will be grown.
Over the last couple of years, multiple high-tech greenhouses have been realized in Uzbekistan. "There's a great demand for tomatoes from Uzbekistan," says Sergey. With Agro OSC, he was responsible for one of the most recent projects, answering to the growing demand for fresh produce of constant quality.
Remarkable is how in this greenhouse, in addition to the tomatoes, also strawberries will be grown, with 4 ha dedicated to tomatoes and 0,5 ha for strawberries. "The tomatoes are for export, which is why the Pink Paradise variety is chosen. The strawberries will be for the local market. Out of season, there are opportunities for a good profit."
The energy crisis affects the growers in Uzbekistan as much as anywhere else, which is why using energy efficiently is of high importance. The greenhouse is heated with coal boilers, and water is collected via deep wells. Unlike in many other countries, labor is not a problem. "There are enough workers available here in Uzbekistan, and labor is relatively cheap."
To make the most out of the available space and to get optimum light levels on the plants and fruits, the strawberries are grown on two height levels and are placed on a coco substrate. Also, the tomato plants are grown on gutters, enabling the company to reuse the water.
Agro OSC is headquartered in Turkey and has an office in Uzbekistan. The company specializes in turn-key greenhouse projects and irrigation systems. "To date, our company has built more than 600 hectares of intensive orchards throughout Uzbekistan. Another 400 hectares are at the stage of designing and supplying equipment", says Sergey. He sees there are opportunities for growers to expand their businesses and find new markets, for example, by introducing new products such as greenhouse strawberries.