How not to be late for the “departing train”…


The revolution in greenhouse vegetable growing, which the Association “Greenhouses of Russia” has been talking about for so long, has happened! This Leninist thesis quite rightly applies to our greenhouse industry.

The situation when the old greenhouse plants were slowly and inexorably dying, while the areas were shrinking, changed its sign. The industry has begun to grow, and this process is now explosive. And non-core investors are playing the first fiddle in the growth of production areas today. Therefore, it is very important for professional greenhouses not to be late for the “outgoing train”.

Unfortunately, in the professional environment, the process of modernization and capital construction of greenhouses is very slow. One or two hectares per year is on average – this is the figure that the heads of greenhouse plants can afford. 10 hectares is on average the figure that investors claim.

The main reason that managers talk about is the lack of financial resources and collateral base. I think, and I am almost sure of it, in today’s conditions this is largely self-justification. Let’s analyze the situation and compare the starting conditions of existing greenhouses and investors who are going to enter this business:

Исходные данные Тепличные предприятия Инвесторы
1 Площадка для строительства есть нет
2 Инфраструктура есть нет
3 Коллектив специалистов есть нет
4 Рынки сбыта есть нет
5 Финансовые ресурсы нет есть

The first four points – the advantages are obvious. It is necessary to deal with finances. The prevailing opinion that Investors have bags of money is erroneous, and even if so, the construction of greenhouses is still carried out exclusively on credit resources. And in conditions when a loan, for example, in the Rosselkhoznadzor or Sberbank can be obtained under the so-called project financing, i.e. on a non-collateral basis, the possibilities of obtaining loans from greenhouses and investors are equalized, you only need to show 20% of your own funds.

Moreover, banks, when assessing the risks of lending, give preference to undoubtedly operating enterprises. And then, the first four points come into play. It is known that to build an operating enterprise with a size of 10 hectares of greenhouses “from scratch” costs about 1,500,000,000 rubles for an investor, and a deep reconstruction of the same 10 hectares for an operating greenhouse plant costs 600,000,000 rubles. Hence, the investor needs 300,000,000 rubles of his own funds, and the greenhouse farm needs 120,000,000 rubles, and if it is reconstructed in two stages, then even less – 60,000,000 rubles.

It is quite clear that there are very few greenhouse plants that could not afford to find these funds, including with the involvement of investors.  And now, based on these considerations, it is not difficult to calculate and compare the payback periods of projects, and the payback period for purely financial reasons. And if we take into account that the time to promote the business and reach the planned yield figure for investors takes at least 2-3 years, it becomes clear that the undeniable advantages are behind the existing greenhouse plants.
This is ideal.  In fact, not everything is so simple!

Investors are not burdened by dogmas and canons, and for the most part are assertive and ambitious businessmen who know how to count well and find new unconventional approaches to doing business. And therefore, I think, the results of their activities are just around the corner. Most likely, with the arrival of large investors, and they already exist, issues of control of imported products at the entrance, issues of control of products grown in Russia by foreign workers, issues of entering the network, issues of organizing new centers for the integration and sale of grown products will be resolved.  Today, there is also a process of intensive search for non-traditional types of products for growing it in greenhouses and possible access to foreign markets with it.

The start of these processes has been given, and in no case should we linger here!
And the first thing to start with is the intensive reconstruction of old greenhouses. Such plants as “Maysky”, “Gorky”, “Industrial” and some others have almost completed this process, but this is a drop in the bucket. Investors have already introduced more new areas today than greenhouses. If things continue like this, then we will face a new wave of closures of old unprofitable enterprises that have not had time to rebuild.  It is quite possible that this is the right process from the point of view of market relations, but it is a pity to lose those undeniable advantages that exist at the start, and which I mentioned above. In addition, there are thousands of people who may be out of work.

There is only one way out here: the heads of old enterprises need to start the process of global reconstruction of their production facilities as soon as possible.

Assistance in drawing up a business model, as well as writing business plans for obtaining loans, can be provided by a number of Russian enterprises that are engaged in the construction of greenhouses.

Our company NPF ” PHYTO” also belongs to such enterprises. Moreover, by our own example, having no collateral, we have gone all this way from the idea of building an ultramodern greenhouse complex of the 5th generation to obtaining a loan and building greenhouses. And already this year in the city of Dankov, Lipetsk region, together with the Greenhouse Technologies company, launched the first 4 hectares of innovative Ultra Clima greenhouses.

These are the first greenhouses of this class in Russia. Their main difference from traditional greenhouses is that they have a fundamentally new heating system that allows them to maintain an ideal microclimate at any time of the year and at the same time save up to 20% of energy. In addition, the yield in such greenhouses increases by 15-20% due to the ideal microclimate. It is a joint product of Dutch and Russian engineers. We really hope that thanks to the combination of the accumulated rich professional experience of our specialists and the Ultra Clima concept, a new stage in the development of greenhouse vegetable growing in Russia will begin!

Author:  Sokolov   Igor   Sergeevich