As Russia continues its journey of self-sufficiency, one company is ramping up the construction of greenhouses to grow tomatoes under high-tech horticultural lighting systems.
Agro-Industrial Holding, ECO-Culture, plans to construct another 185.6 hectares of greenhouses in two different locations in Russia.
In a collaboration with Dutch company Hortilux Schréder BV, the greenhouse project is expected to be operational by November and follows another greenhouse development last year when ECO-Culture built 20 hectares of greenhouses with year-round production.
“In 2016 ECO-Culture and Hortilux started their collaboration on the Ovoschi Stavropoliya project, where 20ha of greenhouses were supplied with the HSE NXT2 1000W with Beta reflector,” says Hortilux.
“The company was so impressed with the professional approach and the quality of the products that Hortilux offered, that they decided to extend the collaboration to the new greenhouses in 2017.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously stated he wants the country to become much more self-sufficient, particularly in terms of crops like tomatoes and cucumbers, in order to ease the reliance on imports.
The country has been increasing its production of vegetables and other products like cheese and meat, since introducing the European food import ban several years ago.
In November 2015, when Turkey shot down a Russian jet close to the Syrian border, the Russian government expanded the ban to include Turkish tomatoes, which hit growers hard because historically Russia absorbed large quantities.
Embargoes and restrictions may be motivated by geo-politics, however Russia has been moving forward quickly particularly in year-round tomato production which has also been advantageous for companies invested in greenhouse technology and construction.
“With the current prices for tomatoes in Russia, time management is everything for us. It is very important that tomato production can start on time so the targets can be met,” says a ECO-Culture spokesperson.
“Hortilux offered us impeccable service from the beginning all the way to the end of the build”. The company has again opted for the NXT2 1000W BETA reflector as this grow light gives them the optimum light level the tomato plants need in order to optimise harvest.”