Idromeccanica Lucchini has bet on twenty hectares of greenhouses in Armenia to produce at 1800 meters above sea level. The company continues to be contacted from businesses all over the world, especially when it comes to real challenges.
"We covered 20 hectares in two steps and now the production of cherry and beefsteak tomatoes is in full swing. We opted for the hydroponic cultivation technique and for a winter cycle," explains Cesare Ghizzi, export sales manager.
The real challenge was to create the ideal conditions to make cultivating 11 months a year at 1800 meters above sea level sustainable and profitable. From a technical point of view, the greenhouse is 8.5 meters high and it is perfectly insulated thanks to a dual photoselective nets. The other fundamental aspect is the availability of warm water taken from a nearby thermal power station.
"We have finished the second production cycle and yields exceeded expectations. The cycle goes from August to June and, also in winter months, we grow without artificial light as the latitude and photoelective nets spread the sunlight. A lot of study and research went behind it."
From a commercial point of view, the Armenian company grows produce to export it to Russia. These tomatoes have a long shelf-life, so they can reach even the markets most far away.
"We provided all the technology necessary, some in partnership with a Dutch company. In addition to the facility, the hydroponic system, irrigation, heating and the software, we have made available an agronomist as, at Idromeccanica Lucchini, we can provide assistance also when developing cultivation techniques."
The new production hub is situated in an area with few economic alternatives, providing work to over 200 people.