The Saratov region is located in the southeast of the European part of Russia, in the northern part of the Lower Volga region. From west to east, the territory stretches for 575 km, from north to south - for 330 km.
The population of the region according to Goskomstat of Russia is 2 people. (496). The share of the rural population is 552%. Saratov region is traditionally an agricultural region. In terms of agricultural production, the region takes 2014th place among Russian regions.
The total area of farmland (in all land categories) is 8417,6 thousand ha. The proportion of farms in sown areas is 45%.
The climate in the region is temperate continental: long dry hot summers, a significant number of days with temperatures above 30 ° C. Winter is frosty, spring is short. Autumn does not differ from year to year by the constancy of weather. A stable snow cover is formed in the northern regions by November 25, and in the central and southern regions from November 29 to December 8.
The potato industry in its importance is considered one of the most important components of the agricultural sector of the Volga region. The soil and climatic conditions of the Saratov region are generally favorable for the cultivation of potatoes, which determines its important economic value in the region. At the same time, significant changes have occurred in potato growing in the region in recent years. The use of energy-intensive technologies and limited energy resources have made potato production more expensive. As a result of this, the cultivated area under potatoes and its production volumes have significantly decreased in the public sector. Thus, the share of agricultural enterprises and K (F) X in the production of potatoes in the Saratov region decreased from 22% in 1990 to 5% in 2012.
The current situation negatively affected the stable supply of potatoes to the urban population, especially in the winter-spring period, led to a deterioration in the quality of products, contributed to a decrease in the competitiveness of local potatoes compared to products from the Penza, Tambov, Voronezh regions and other neighboring regions of Russia, as well as from abroad .
Despite objective difficulties, the following factors contribute to the development of potato production in the region:
- traditional high and sustainable consumption of potatoes by the population;
- favorable climatic conditions in most of the region;
- high fertility of chernozem soils in the Right Bank, northern and central parts of the Left Bank, where it is possible to organize stable potato production under irrigation;
- developed transport and information infrastructure;
- the presence of links on the scientific support of the industry from the All-Russian Research Institute of Potato (VNIIKH, Moscow Region), “Saratov State Agrarian University named after N.I. Vavilova ", NIISH Southeast and Penza NIIISH;
- implementation of large investment projects to develop production and improve the potato storage system (in October 2012, an agreement was signed with the Malino company, which is engaged in the development of modern potato growing technologies in many regions of Russia);
- Effective government support for potato producers from the regional budget.
In recent years, agricultural enterprises and K (F) X have seen a more significant increase in potato productivity compared to households (table). However, the sown area is small - in 2012, in the agricultural enterprises of the region, potatoes were grown on an area of 0,5 thousand ha and in K (F) X - 0,7 thousand ha. In only five farms, the sown area of potatoes amounted to more than 50 hectares (RosAgro-Zavolzhye LLC, Krasnokutsky District, Rubin Farm, Bazarno-Karabulak District, VIT LLC, Peasant Farm P. Shcherenko, and MP Kryuchkova Farm . ”Engels district). In 2013, over 35 large, medium and small agricultural producers were engaged in potato cultivation in the Saratov Region. Moreover, already in eight farms, the area of potatoes exceeded 50 hectares.
Further development of potato growing should be aimed at providing the urban population of the region with quality products, especially in the winter-spring period. Potato consumption in this period of time, based on sound medical standards (95 kg per year), may exceed 60,0 thousand tons. From 10 to 20 thousand tons of potatoes are imported annually into the region, a significant part of which can be produced in the region’s potato farms. An equally important condition for the development of potato growing in the region should be the organization of a system for its storage, processing and sale.
In modern market conditions, it is important not only to produce high-quality potatoes, but also to preserve them until a new crop, give the product a marketable appearance, form large batches to ensure regular deliveries to wholesale and retail organizations. This can be done subject to a developed storage and processing system.
Currently, there are not enough special potato storages in the region equipped with mechanization, an active ventilation system and climate control. Potatoes are mainly stored in vegetable stores or outdated storage facilities. The largest modern potato storages - in the farm "Scherenko P.Yu." and peasant farm "Kryuchkova MP" Engels district.
Potato producers have about 10 thousand tons of potato storage capacity directly. It should be emphasized that storage facilities are unevenly distributed among producers: 12 out of 35 large, medium and small potato producers have them.
Obviously, the existing storage facilities with the planned volume of potato production are not enough. The creation of new warehouses is constrained by the high cost of their construction. The costs of the construction of a potato storage volume of 1,5-2 thousand tons reach 11-12 million rubles., 3-3,5 thousand tons - 22-23 million rubles.
There are no potato processing enterprises in the region that could help agricultural producers with the effective sale of products, as is the case in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, France, the USA and other countries.
In order to develop potato growing in the region in 2013, a target program was developed “Increasing potato production in the Saratov region for 2013-2015”. The implementation of the Program provides for a phased increase in the sown area of potatoes cultivated on the basis of modern technological and technical means, an increase in productivity and gross production of potato products, the formation of a new material and technical base in potato farms, and the creation of additional jobs.
In 2013-2015, the Government of the Saratov region plans to assist agricultural organizations and K (F) X engaged in the production of potatoes in the acquisition of machinery and implements, seeds and mineral fertilizers, which will ensure an increase in gross harvests of potatoes by 2015 compared to 2012 and 2013 1,9 and 1,5 times, respectively.
The implementation of a set of measures of state support for potato growing at the expense of the budget of the Saratov region will help increase the investment attractiveness of this industry for agricultural enterprises and K (F) X.
1. Conducting a rational distribution of potatoes in the region by volume of use, optimizing the distribution of varieties and organizing elite seed production.
It is planned to develop industrial cultivation of potatoes on Bogara in Bazarno-Karabulaksky, Novoburasky, Lysogorsky and other areas of the Right Bank. In the arid Left Bank, irrigated lands of the farms of Engels, Sovetsky, Krasnokutsky, Marx and other areas will be allocated for potato production.
The most productive and adapted to the soil and climatic conditions of the region are special drought-resistant potato varieties created by domestic breeders of VNIIKH and Penza NIIISH specifically for the Volga region.
At the same time, it is recommended to cultivate varieties of different ripeness groups for early consumption periods - early ripening varieties for summer consumption; mid-season - for autumn; late ripening - for use in winter and early spring.
2. The organization of elite seed production in the region.
Elite potato seed production will be developed in agricultural organizations of the northern microzone, where there is no likelihood of infection of crops with viral diseases and advanced seed technologies are used (summer planting, varietal weeding, integrated plant protection system, etc.). Specialists of VNIIKH and Saratov State Agrarian University will provide support in the scientific support of elite seed production. For the development of zonal seed production, it is first necessary to create conditions for the sale of seeds of potato varieties by domestic breeders.
3. The introduction of modern resource-saving technologies for growing potatoes.
A key event in the implementation of the Program is the introduction of modern technologies for growing potatoes based on biologization and resource conservation. All introduced innovations should be differentiated depending on the soil and climatic conditions of various microzones of the region and the material and technical base of farms.
Biologized technology involves the cultivation of perennial herbs and siderates, the use of biological products for the treatment of tubers and potato crops (Baikal EM-1, mizorin, rhizoagrin, flavobacterin, etc.), which can reduce the application of mineral and organic fertilizers while maintaining a balance of organic matter and soil fertility. The use of biological products for plant protection (boverin, trichogram, etc.) will reduce the cost of pesticides and ensure the production of environmentally friendly products. To reduce the stress effects of drought in our area, the use of special biological antistressants is recommended.
4. Comprehensive technical modernization of the potato industry.
To conduct modern potato growing in the region, it is planned to equip the farms of agricultural producers with resource-energy-efficient machines and equipment for the production, sorting and storage of tubers, taking into account the characteristics of different forms of management. The main criteria for choosing equipment: reliability, versatility, provision with spare parts and the availability of guaranteed operational service.
5. The increase in irrigated areas of potatoes due to the restoration of existing and the creation of new irrigation sites.
Growing potatoes during irrigation can not only reduce natural risks, but also significantly increase the economic efficiency of its production. The output from irrigated areas under potatoes is two times higher than from similar areas without irrigation, and labor productivity, the efficiency of using material and technical resources, including fertilizers, increases by three to five times.
Along with the widespread modernization of the existing Fregat and Volzhanka irrigation machines in areas with light and medium grain size soils, it is planned to switch more actively to modern resource-saving irrigation systems - low-volume drum-type machines, fine and drip irrigation.
6. Reconstruction of existing and construction of new potato storages.
For year-round supply of potatoes to the population of the Saratov region, it is recommended that modern potato storages with a capacity of at least 40 thousand tons of tubers, equipped with ventilation, climate control and mechanization of loading and unloading, be built. Large potato storages will create enterprises for primary (semi-finished products) and deep (alcohol, starch, chips, french fries, etc.) potato processing.
7. Creation of logistics centers for the storage, processing and sale of potatoes of local agricultural producers.
The organization of logistics centers will significantly increase the competitiveness of potatoes by local agricultural producers.
8. Targeted contract training of specialists.
Target contracted training for potato specialists will be carried out by the Saratov State Agrarian University. Perhaps training a special group of masters in the direction of "Potato".
9. Further training of specialists of agricultural organizations and chapters K (F) X involved in the production of potatoes.
The program provides for the annual advanced training of potato growers in courses organized at the training center at the Federal State Budget Educational Institution of Higher Professional Education “Saratov State Agrarian University named after N.I. Vavilova "together with the regional ICS.
During the growing season of potatoes, it is planned to conduct a series of scientific and practical seminars on the basis of the leading potato farms in the region, aimed both at training and the exchange of experience between participants in events. Within the framework of the annual regional exhibition-demonstration “Field Day”, the leaders and specialists of the potato industry will in practice get acquainted with the latest examples of agricultural machines and implements and promising varieties of potatoes.