The progress of the implementation of the Green Farm project was assessed by the governor of the Kamchatka Territory by visiting an enterprise where cucumbers are grown in hydroponics, Kam 24 was told in the regional government.
The Green Farm project started in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in October 2022. The enterprise occupied an area of only 200 square meters. Governor Vladimir Solodov met with one of the project investors, Yevgeny Babushkin, and research agronomist Valery Prokopshin, who spoke about the technologies used and plans to expand production.
“At the moment we are growing medium cucumber. When growing, we use hydroponics technology or drip irrigation. The crop does not grow in the ground, but in mineral wool, where mineral fertilizers are supplied with water. The peculiarity of our farm is that it is located in a completely enclosed area, illuminated by LED lamps. I would like to note that the variety of cucumbers that we use was originally bred for growing under artificial lighting,” said project investor Evgeny Babushkin.
Agronomist-researcher Valery Prokopshin, in turn, explained that when growing cucumbers, mineral-organic fertilizers and exclusively biological means of protecting plants from pests, diseases and viruses are used.
This farm is pilot. The installation of additional equipment has already begun here, which will allow growing 1,000 plants indoors at once, as well as increasing production to 100 kilograms per day. In the first quarter of 2023, it is planned that production will increase to 300 kilograms per day. While fresh cucumbers from the Green Farm are sold in only one outlet in the Severo-Vostok microdistrict of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for about 25% cheaper than imported ones, with an increase in the harvest, products will begin to appear in other stores of the project partners, the regional government said. Investors promise that with an increase in production volumes, work will be carried out to reduce the cost for the end consumer.
“The practice of this project shows that in terms of taste, these cucumbers are indistinguishable from those grown in ordinary greenhouses. Our task is to scale such projects. There is an understanding to increase the area of the greenhouse as part of the Green Farm, and a number of other similar projects are being developed in Kamchatka. We will provide them with all kinds of support measures, – Governor Vladimir Solodov noted after visiting the farm. – I want to emphasize that we have a great potential to replace cucumbers. If we talk in numbers, now Kamchatka consumes about three thousand tons of cucumbers a year, about eight tons daily, and a small fraction of this volume is produced. We will make every effort to increase our own production.”
Vladimir Solodov also said that a large project to increase Kamchatka’s self-sufficiency in vegetable products will be implemented in the next few years – a large greenhouse complex is being built in the Zelenovskie Ozerki priority development area. It will significantly replace imported cucumbers with local ones at a more affordable price.
According to the regional government, the index of agricultural production last year compared to the same period of the previous year amounted to 108.7%, which is 2.5% higher than the average index of the Russian Federation. The volume of industrial production in the food and processing industry, excluding fish processing, for the same period amounted to almost eight billion rubles.
In 2023, work will continue in Kamchatka to increase the level of self-sufficiency of the region with locally produced products. A separate area in the work of the regional Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry is to curb the rise in prices for products of local agricultural producers, the regional government noted.