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Is it profitable to build greenhouses in the Vologda region?

Evaluating the feasibility of greenhouse agriculture in the Vologda region of Russia

Recently, the acting governor of the Vologda region, Georgy Filimonov, announced that companies from Moscow are coming to the region to develop greenhouse vegetable production. But how feasible is this?

Filimonov, with his experience in agriculture, highlights the potential in greenhouse vegetable cultivation. The demand for vegetables is high: Russia imports a significant amount of vegetables from abroad, as its greenhouse production meets only a third of the demand. Peppers, eggplants, and zucchinis are imported from Iran, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. There is almost no domestic production of these vegetables.

However, there are significant obstacles. The Vologda region is in the first light zone, where daylight is short, and the climate is cold. This requires year-round heating and lighting for greenhouses, which significantly increases costs. An example is the "Ovoshchnoy" greenhouse complex in Tonshalovo, which went bankrupt due to gas debts. The new complex in Cherepovets, opened in 2020, also faces high costs and low profitability. In 2024, it produced 3,676 tons of tomatoes and cucumbers. It is not grown other vegetables here.

Additionally, competition with southern regions of Russia and foreign suppliers makes it difficult to sell local vegetables that fall short in taste and competitive pricing. High heating and electricity tariffs, as well as issues with energy infrastructure, create additional challenges.

If investors are prepared for high costs and risks, then building greenhouses in the Vologda region has potential. However, without significant improvements in infrastructure and economic support, success remains uncertain.


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