Evgeny Leshchenko, Minister of Agriculture of the Novosibirsk Region
Territory: 177,76 thousand sq. km
Population: 2 798 170 people, of which 79,21% are city residents.
Geographical position: The Novosibirsk Region is located in the southeast of the West Siberian Plain. In the north, it borders on the Tomsk region, in the southwest - with Kazakhstan, in the west - with the Omsk region, in the south - with the Altai Territory, in the east - with the Kemerovo region.
Climate: continental, more severe than in areas of Europe and America located at the same latitude. The four seasons of the year are pronounced. Severe and long winters with a stable snow cover from 20 cm in the southwest to 50-70 cm in the north, in some periods with strong winds and snowstorms. Average January temperature: -18 ... -20 ° С. Summers are hot, but relatively short - from 90 to 100 days in the north and up to 120-130 days in the south. The warmest month is July (+ 19 ... + 25 ° С).
Transitional seasons (spring, autumn) are short and characterized by unstable weather, return of cold weather. Ground frosts begin in the second half of September and end at the end of May.
The average annual precipitation is 414 mm (from 290 to 540 mm). Up to 70% of precipitation falls in the form of rains, mostly torrential with thunderstorms. Of these, 20% falls in May-June, in particular, in the period from April to October there is (on average) 330 mm of precipitation, in the period from November to March - 95 mm. Southerly and southwesterly winds prevail. Dry winds and droughts are observed in the southern steppe regions. The growing season: from 144-148 days in the north to 158-163 days in the south.
Relief: predominantly flat. A part of the region, located to the left of the Ob River, is occupied by a low-lying plain (120 m above sea level) with mane-like relief elevations of 3-10 m. The right bank of the Ob is more elevated and hilly. In the east of the region is the Salair ridge with the highest point in the region (502 m above sea level).
Soils: mostly podzolic and gray forest. Due to the swampiness of a significant part of the region's territory, the salinity of soil-forming rocks and groundwater, saline soils are widely developed here: meadow-chernozem, meadow, boggy, salt marshes, salt licks and malt.
Agricultural land area: 7752,475 thousand hectares.
The Novosibirsk Region ranks fifth in the Siberian Federal District in terms of potato production. About how important this culture is for the region and whether there are prospects for increasing production, we talk with the Minister of Agriculture of the Novosibirsk Region E.M. Leshchenko.
- Evgeny Mikhailovich, potatoes cannot be called the main crop for the Novosibirsk region. But does it still occupy a fairly prominent place in the crop sector?
- In 2019, the planting area of this crop in farms of all categories amounted to 19,7 thousand hectares, in 2020 slightly less - 18,3 thousand.The volume of gross harvest in 2019 was 299,4 thousand tons.
I would also like to note that all regions of the region are engaged in potato cultivation. In 2019, the highest yields were obtained in the Novosibirsk region - 47,9 thousand tons, Ordynsky - 30 thousand tons, Moshkovsky - 26,3 thousand tons.
If we talk about the industrial sector, then in 2019 agricultural organizations and peasant farms in the region allocated 3,6 thousand hectares for growing potatoes. The volume of gross collection amounted to 72,5 thousand tons. The average yield is 213,3 c / ha.
In 2020, potatoes were planted on an area of 2736 hectares.
In total, 13 agricultural enterprises, 32 peasant (farming) enterprises and individual entrepreneurs are engaged in potato cultivation in the region. All of them are actively using modern cultivation technologies.
The greatest attention to this crop (they account for 67,6% of the total volume of potatoes produced in agricultural enterprises, peasant farms and individual entrepreneurs) is paid by: ZAO SPH "Yarkovskoe", IE Leonidov AP, OOO LEONiS, OOO OPH "Dary Ordynska", LLC "Gardens of the Giant". The highest profitability of potato production was achieved in OOO LEONiS (268,8%), OOO Sady Giganta (121,4%), OOO SIBKRA (120,7%).
- Are there regional programs to support potato growing in the Novosibirsk region?
- In accordance with the decree of the Government of the Novosibirsk region dated 02.02.2015 No. 37-p "On the state program of the Novosibirsk region" Development of agriculture and regulation of markets for agricultural products, raw materials and food in the Novosibirsk region "there is a list of state support measures subsidized from the federal and regional budgets: reimbursement of part of the cost of a complex of agrotechnical works, reimbursement of part of the cost of purchasing elite and original seeds, reimbursement of part of the cost of purchasing technical means and equipment.
- What varieties of potatoes are mainly grown in the region? Is potato seed production developed?
- According to the information provided by the branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Rosselkhoztsentr" in the Novosibirsk region, based on the analysis of the report on sown seeds for three years (2018-2020), the most popular varieties in agricultural farms of the Novosibirsk region are: Gala, Tuleevsky, Rozara, Red Scarlett, Lina.
The region meets its needs for high-quality seed material. Sib-NIIRS (branch of ICG SB RAS), KFH “Nastenka”, ZAO SPH “Michurinets” specialize in growing seed potatoes in the region.
- Company PepsiCo is going to open a plant for the production of chips in the Novosibirsk region. Are agricultural companies ready to grow potato varieties?
- Of course, agricultural producers have received PepsiCo's plans to build a processing plant in our region with great enthusiasm. In the future, many farms would like to become one of its main suppliers. In this regard, in 2020, the agrarians of the region have increased the area of planting potato chips.
Of course, we all understand that the production of such a product requires serious knowledge and skills, but people are ready to learn.
In November 2019, during the international agro-industrial exhibition "Siberian Agrarian Week", a round table "Integrated technologies for growing potato chips" was organized, which brought together many interested agricultural producers. The roundtable participants received a lot of information (including from the representative of PepsiCo) about the rules of soil preparation, the peculiarities of planting and harvesting potato chips. And I think this is not the last event of this kind.
- In 2017-18, the media published information about the creation of a Russian-Chinese potato cluster in the Novosibirsk region. Will this project continue?
- Unfortunately, in recent years, potato production in the region has been declining for a number of reasons. The level of self-sufficiency in the product is 84,0% (with personal consumption at the rate of 94,1 kg per capita). Taking this into account, the creation of a Russian-Chinese potato cluster in the region is currently recognized as irrelevant. But nevertheless, we do not put an end to this project and will definitely return to its consideration when self-sufficiency in potatoes reaches 100%.
- Do the Novosibirsk agricultural enterprises supply potatoes abroad?
- According to the regional Department of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision, in 2019, Novosibirsk agricultural producers exported about 60 tons of ware potatoes. Deliveries were made to the Republic of Kazakhstan. The numbers are small, but in the future we plan to increase export volumes and provide assistance to agricultural producers wishing to work in this direction (support is already being carried out within the framework of the regional project "Export of agricultural products").
- Is the potato storage system developed in the region?
- 27 agricultural enterprises have their own capacities for storing vegetables and potatoes in the region, the total storage area is 60,4 thousand tons. At the same time, three enterprises have large storage complexes that allow placing products in the amount of 15-16,5 thousand tons.
At present, the reconstruction of a potato storage facility (with a capacity of 12 thousand tons) in JSC SPH "Yarkovskoye" is underway.
- In 2015, the Novosibirsk region celebrated the 120th anniversary of the beginning of reclamation work in the Barabinskaya steppe. Does the region stake on land improvement today? Is the area of irrigated land growing?
- Since 2015, we have been implementing a subprogram of the state program "Development of reclamation of agricultural lands in the Novosibirsk region". During this period, agricultural enterprises received 108,9 million rubles as state support, including 77,9 million rubles from the federal budget, 31,0 million rubles from the regional budget, 5 amelioration systems with a total irrigation area were built and reconstructed 1,9 thousand hectares.
The area of irrigated land in the Novosibirsk region is 36,9 thousand hectares, of which 35,8 thousand hectares are agricultural land.
- The media write a lot about the drought in the Novosibirsk region this year. Will difficult weather conditions affect the potato harvest?
- By the beginning of August, the emergency mode of the municipal level due to drying out of the soil was introduced in 17 out of 30 districts of the region, most of them are located in the south and southwest of the region. Damage assessment is currently being carried out in the affected areas. In areas with emergencies, headquarters have been created to coordinate actions and collect operational information. The headquarters, in cooperation with the heads of agricultural organizations, heads of peasant farms, individual entrepreneurs engaged in agricultural activities, take measures to reduce damage. Obviously, there will be no record harvest this year, but the situation in potato farms is not critical: at the moment, no death of potato plantings has been noted.