3 years ago

The Partnership no. 13

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Tomatoes
  • Partnership
  • Zaden
  • Tomato
  • Biodiversity
  • Melon
  • Varieties
  • Flavour
  • Consumer

Russia is investing

Russia is investing heavily in modern greenhouse horticulture. The ultra-modern company LipetskAgro is an example of this new impetus. Under high-level growth light, the company produces various types of tomatoes and cucumbers all year round in semi-enclosed Ultra-Clima greenhouses. The close cooperation with Enza Zaden has resulted in a balanced range and high production of top quality produce. Oleg Kharlamov and Olga Tolmacheva

LipetskAgro continues to expand in Russian high-tech sector Partnership The region of Lipetsk is located about 350 km south of Moscow. After it was designated as a special agroeconomic zone by the government, LipetskAgro started building the first business phase of nearly 10 ha in 2013. Following several expansions, the company now has about 45 ha of glasshouses, commercial premises and technical installations for the propagation, cultivation and processing – sorting and packaging – of tomatoes and cucumbers. “We supply Russian consumers with locally grown, highquality tomatoes and cucumbers,” says General Manager Lubovi Kharlamova. “We aim for the higher market segments. To ensure a high yield, excellent quality and efficient use of energy, we grow our produce in Ultra-Clima greenhouses at a very high light level for fruiting vegetables. So far, this has proven to be a good decision.” Investing in people With its ultra-modern greenhouses and installations, Lipetsk Agro is a technological frontrunner in its own country and is also one of the most innovative greenhouse horticulture businesses in the world. That is great of course, but more is required to make such a costly investment profitable. “You want to reach maximum potential,” says Production Manager Olga Tolmacheva. “That can only be achieved when the people who work here are motivated, have the right knowledge and experience, and are not afraid to take responsibility. We focus consistently on this, especially since the workforce is expanding just as rapidly as the company. We also invest in contacts with external specialists. They maintain a high level of knowledge and help us to perform to the best of our ability. Enza Zaden is a valuable partner in this context. Not only because of their varieties, but also due to their growing experience in various climate zones and their knowledge of the Russian market.” Sharing knowledge The contacts between both companies take place primarily between Tolmacheva and Chief Agronomist Oleg Kharlamov on behalf of Lipetsk Agro and Renat Dushanbiev on behalf of Enza Zaden. “LipetskAgro is a fantastic company, which operates at a high level,” he explains. “It is wonderful to contribute to this. I receive a great deal of support from my colleagues in the Netherlands. The breeders and growth advisors know exactly which conditions are best for our varieties. We are happy to share this knowledge with our customers and they greatly appreciate it. By the same token, we also learn from the wishes and experiences that they share with us.” Oleg Kharlamov confirms this. “The growing conditions can be managed perfectly in the Ultra- Clima greenhouse,” he explains. “Even in the summer, because the greenhouse has a large air treatment capacity and we are able to cool it very well. However, the greenhouse has a somewhat vegetative character compared to standard greenhouses. It is quite easy to grow a sturdy crop, but you will have to put more effort into achieving a generative balance. Of course we take this into consideration, not only with the climate settings, the water dose and the EC during the cultivation, but also with the selection of varieties.” Wide range LipetskAgro carries a wide range of quality tomatoes and cucumbers. Varieties from Enza Zaden are represented in both product groups. For tomatoes, this currently includes the small beef tomato Kanavaro, the vine cherry tomato Tomagino and the plum/cocktail tomato Ardiles. For the first time this winter, LipetskAgro is growing the Long European Type cucumber DeeLite, which has already been trialled on a small scale. “You want to reach maximum potential” “Many factors play a role in our selection of varieties,” explains Kharlamov. “In addition to the vegetative or generative character of a variety, we also look closely at quality characteristics, at the expected production level and at resistances and resilience. We only use chemical crop protection products when we have no other choice. The crop construction also comes into consideration, as this is partly determined by the amount of labour required for crop maintenance and harvesting. The people at Enza Zaden know what our preferences are.” The future LipetskAgro wants to expand significantly in the coming years and is counting on the continued collaboration with Enza Zaden. Tolmacheva: “We are aiming to achieve sustainable relationships with parties that can increase our added value for customers. Good varieties and cultivation advice are important building blocks. Enza Zaden is also really good at the conceptual approach. Perhaps this will soon lead to new propositions in which varieties from the company play a role. After all, we both greatly value innovation.” The Partnership | 13

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