A greenhouse complex of 100 hectares is currently under construction in the Russian region of Kabardino-Balkaria. The agro-industrial holding ECO-culture plans to grow in it some 63,000 tons of tomatoes per year.
“The surface area of the greenhouse complex is 100 hectares. The project will be carried out in 2 steps: 40 hectares first, followed by 60 hectares (the construction should be completed by the end of 2024). The production capacity of the facilities will be about 62,000-63,000 tons of tomatoes per year, making it the biggest project in Russia,” explained Alexander Rudakov, president of the company.
“The project in Kabardino-Balkaria will be the largest in the region. 2,000 jobs will be created. There will be a large distribution center, as well as packaging equipment. It will be a mega-complex of modern greenhouses, but we will not put robots to harvest the tomatoes because the region needs jobs. Even if it is more profitable for everyone, we will automate as much as possible to make people’s work easier.”
500,000 tons of tomatoes are imported each year in Russia. “The Russian chains are pleased to take the Russian product. It is delicious and keeps longer, so the demand is high. We expect to get 63 kg of tomatoes per square meter from February until December. Then, we will gradually transfer the areas to raspberries, strawberries and blueberries,” explains Alexander Rudakov.
“The project will be amortized in 10 years. There are always risks, but those risks are comparable to the opportunities. Over the years, we have had no problem with ECO-culture regarding payments. They have been reliable partners and we are ready to get into other projects, including other regions,” explained Igor Yatsuk, TASS deputy director of the regional branch of the Russian Agricultural Bank.