Russia’s self-sufficiency in greenhouse vegetable production exceeded 53% last year, but it will be necessary to build another 1.5 thousand hectares of greenhouses in order to completely cover Russia’s domestic needs.
In 2017, agricultural producers received 118 billion rubles in preferential loans. This is 25% of the total volume of concessional loans. Such support will make it possible to build 50 greenhouse complexes with a total area of 650 hectares, which will increase the annual vegetable production by 500 thousand MT.
The Minister of Agriculture pointed out that the state support for vegetable growers also includes compensating investors for 20% of the costs incurred.
“Over the past 3 years, we have given support to 56 investment projects with a total of more than 400 hectares of greenhouses. All this should facilitate the task of replacing imported greenhouse vegetables with Russian product within the next 3-4 years,” said A. Tkachev.
Every year, the greenhouse complex in the Moscow region which the minister visited grows 27 thousand MT of tomatoes, 15 thousand MT of cucumbers and 1 thousand MT of sweet peppers. The cutting-edge technologies used in the complex allow it to compete successfully with imports, supplying fresh and quality products to Russian stores.
Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, reported that the country’s agricultural exports have seen a remarkable development, especially potatoes, which registered a 144.8% increase, frozen vegetables, up 900%, machinery and appliances, up 681.3% and processed vegetables and fruit, with an 823.1% growth.
He pointed out in a press statement that this is mostly the result of the efforts made by the Ministry in helping Egyptian companies to access the Russian market, as well as to the promotional campaigns carried out by the Egyptian Commercial Office in Moscow for many Egyptian products, which facilitated the opening of communication channels with major Russian importers.
These campaigns resulted in the provision of more than 70 export opportunities, contributing to the shipment of new and non-traditional products (not only food products) to the Russian market.
The Tyumen branch of one of Russia’s banks is funding the construction of the largest greenhouse complex for growing vegetables in the region. According to the press service of the Tyumen government, the project, initiated by the company Technology Hothouse Growth LLC, will make use of the latest high-tech Dutch greenhouse technology. The first stage is scheduled for September 2014 and it will enable Tyumen to increase the volumes and quality of its greenhouse production.
The complex will be located 38 kilometres from Tyumen, in the village of Narimanovo, and has an area of 11 hectares, of which 7.5 hectares will be devoted to cucumbers, 2.5 hectares for tomatoes and 1 hectare for lettuce and seedlings. The project budget is of more than 2.2 billion Roubles, of which 1.9 billion will be loaned by banks.
“This ambitious project is very significant for the Tyumen region, as not only will it permit the uninterrupted supply of vegetables for the area, but will also create more than 180 jobs,” said the director of the Tyumen regional branch of the bank funding the project, Dmitry Pushkarev.
Russia’s greenhouse vegetable cultivation industry in 2013 is on the rise. The greenhouse vegetable production has increased by 6.7% in 2013 as compared with 2012. According to the Russian Federation National Bureau of Statistics, the total output growth rate is the highest in the region of Ural in 2013 with an increase of 28%.
Vegetable greenhouses in the Volga Federal District have maintained a leading position in vegetable production in 2013. With a production output of 184,000 tons, they produce tomatoes, cucumbers and green vegetables.
Analysts in the Russian Central Federal District indicated that the greenhouse market situation is developing and consumer demands are increasing. More investors are investing in the vegetable greenhouses in the south of Russia. They estimate that in the next three years, the industrial greenhouses and vegetable production southern Russia will be significantly improve and develop.
Currently most of the fresh vegetables in Russia have been imported from abroad. High demand for fresh fruits and vegetable normally come from the capital city of Moscow during the low season.
The Russian import market of fresh fruit and vegetables in 2013 was worth 8.2 billion dollars (6.2 billion Euro). Two years before it was 7.7 billion dollars. In 2011 and 2012 the value was 5.5 and 6.0 billion Euro respectively. Volume comparisons show last year figures at 8.4 million ton, compared to 8 in 2012 and 8.3 in 2011. Previous years showed imports increasing sharply.
Apples and bananas are the two major products which are imported to Russia. Apple import continued to grow in 2013 but banana import was more modest. Tomatoes, the third import product showed good growth as did fourth place, soft citrus, then a number of products follow which reached a peak in 2011 but in recent years have fallen, these are oranges, pears, grapes and carrots. Onion import in 2013 was also seen to have been previously higher.
Ecuador is the most important supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables. This is mostly due to the banana. Ecuadorian bananas have a free monopoly on the Russian banana market. Turkey is the other massive supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to Russia but import is not longer growing. Poland is rising as third supplier. Almost three quarters of Polish deliveries consists of apples. China follows in fourth place but their import shows a falling trend and apples, soft citrus and tomatoes are their most important products. Spanish import, number 5, has stabilised after a short spurt in 2013. The main Spanish products going to Russia are peaches/nectarines and tomatoes. Morocco also supply soft citrus, and Israel are a large supplier of products such as carrots and peppers.
In Russia’s Far East region “Dalnevostochnoye” a new 18 ha greenhouse has been built with the support of the local government. The greenhouse is not completely new, it is an existing structure that has been reconstructed for 5.54 million Euro. Half of the cost of the revamp was government support, the other half was paid with money from the bank.
The new greenhouse will cultivate vegetables that are popular with locals: leafy greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, several varieties of lettuce, including exotic (Swiss) chard and salad rocket, parsley, basil, dill and others.
The director of the complex also announced that they will try to grow something unusual for the region, such as pineapples. “The technologies we use will allow us to grow anything because we have all the tools to create any climate we desire.”
The Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation reports that are searches conducted at the vegetable warehouse Sofiyskaya in St. Petersburg. The searches are conducted as a part of a fraud criminal case investigation.
According to investigation officers, the criminal case has been initiated over an unreasonable VAT refund by persons acting on behalf of OOO “Nika-Frukt” in 2011-2012. The VAT refund amounted to almost 80 million rubles from the federal budget of the Russian Federation.
The goal of the searches conducted at the vegetable warehouse Sofiyskaya is to discover and impound any items and documents related to the criminal case, as well as those items which are prohibited from civil circulation.
Also the police are going to check the adherence to immigration laws at the vegetable warehouse Sofiyskaya.
Representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora, which are doing business at the warehouse Sofiyskaya, have stated that according to their information sources the city authorities are going to close the vegetable warehouse Sofiyskaya as well as the vegetable warehouse on Salova street.
Fruit and vegetable warehouse Pokrovskaya is located in Biryulevo neighborhood in Moscow, that is one of the biggest centers of wholesale trade of fruits and vegetables in Russia. Pokrovskaya warehouse belongs to JSC “Novie Cheremushki”, which, according to media reports, is controlled by stepbrothers Aliaskhab Hajiyev and Igor Isaev from Dagestan. The area of warehouse is more than 120,000 square meters. According to some experts, daily turnover was 20-40 million dollars; according to other estimates, the actual turnover was 3-4 million dollars per day. The exact figure is not known, as more than half of the turnover of Pokrovskaya warehouse belongs to the shadow market.
Biryulevo neihgborhood is just a kilometer from the warehouse. Residents keep complaining about the criminal situation in the area, the high level of illegal migration, bad traffic situation and an enormous amount of waste and garbage.
On October 10, a young man was stabbed by an unknown, presumably from Central Asia or the Caucasus area.
On October 13, more than 1000 people invaded Pokrovskaya warehouse, demanding swift investigation of the murder, the closure of the warehouse and stiffening immigration policy.
Pokrovskaya warehouse was partially closed for cleaning day on October 14. And in the evening it was closed forever. On October 15, it was announced that it would be transferred outside Moscow.
On October 15, the murderer was found and arrested, it was a Azerbaijan native Orhan Zeynalov born in 1982.
Russia lives in vegetable dependence on Europe where all seeds are purchased. The Federal Service for Veterinarian and Vegetation Sanitary Supervision (Rosselkhoznadzor) repeatedly threatened the European Union with the ban on import of seed grains. In fact, it means digging its own grave. “Without seed potato coming from foreign countries we can pull through only for one year, then everything that involves vegetables will come to a halt,” Vitaly Dunin, the chairman of the Sverdlovsk Union of Producers and Processors of Potatoes and Vegetables, told RusBusinessNews.
According to Dunin, the domestic seed industry was destroyed in the 1990s-2000s and now is in the embryonic state. The Belorechensky Agro-Industrial Complex, CJSC, headed by Dunin, purchases high yielding potato hybrids from the Netherlands. The Dutch grow their seed potatoes in the most agriculturally favorable areas in Italy, Africa and Spain, sorting them by color, quality grade and size.
The Sverdlovsk Region is ready and willing to get out of the European bondage. The Belorechensky Agro-Industrial Complex, together with Kartofel, LLC, and the Agriculture Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Agriculture, prepared a business plan for the breeding center that will allow farmers to reduce their potato seed import by 50% or more. The cost of this center is 300 million rubles. The initiators of the project expect that the federal and regional government authorities will chip in together and allocate 100 million from each side. The Sredneuralsk government gave the go-ahead to the idea, which is now being scrutinized at the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. If everything works out, the breeding center will start operating in 2014.
The Russian Ministry of Agriculture reports that these will be the main goals of the Union:
– coordinate business activities of the Union-members
– contribute to the formation and development of the national potato and vegetable market
– create a viable economical, legal and social environment for the potato and vegetable market participants
Along with these goals the Union will have the following tasks:
– improve production, storing, processing, transportation and wolesale distribution facilities
– conduct scientific researches and advance the corresponding technologies in order to implement them into the business activities of the Union-members
– contribute to working out of the unified certification and standardization rules for potato and vegetable produce