Nikolay Gordiychuk, director of LLC "Agrico Ukraine", spoke about the trends in the market and the peculiarities of the development of the potato business in an interview with the Agri - Gator website.
- Summer season 2019 breaks all temperature records. Will this affect the crop and what steps should be taken to minimize the impact?
- Of course it will, especially considering that most of our potatoes are not irrigated. Now the situation is critical, to a greater extent, not because of the high temperature, but because it lasts for a very long time. Farmers today, including us, support plants with various biological products and amino acids. With such a heat, they experience stress, so giving chemistry is excluded. Now is the flowering period, the plants need maximum support. We notice that at the moment many farmers use drugs and growth stimulants, even those who have not used them before.
- How profitable is the potato growing business? Have you ever thought of reorienting yourself to grain crops?
“Today, fewer and fewer people do business for the sake of business. We, as a company and as members of the association (Ukrainian Association of Potato Producers, ed.) Teach our farmers to make calculations, to calculate how much is invested in a hectare. If we talk about potatoes and gross profitability, you can earn 30-50 thousand hryvnia per hectare, but before that you will have to invest 130-150 thousand. That is, the profitability is only 30%. If we abstract, for example, you can invest 10-12 thousand hryvnias in soybeans and get 20-25 thousand hryvnias, an indicator of economic efficiency of 100%. It is for this reason that many farmers began to consider profitability not per hectare, but from the money invested. The contribution of funds to the equipment should be noted separately. Combine harvesters are not suitable for potatoes, so in order to switch from potatoes to grain, you need to invest in new equipment. This requires investment. Many large companies, having reoriented themselves, are leaving the potato business. Instead of them, small companies enter, so the overall balance of potatoes in Ukraine has not changed over the past few years.
- Are you growing organic potatoes?
- Now the niche is very small, in order to do this on a large scale. Now in Ukraine, a very small segment of the population is ready to pay for such a product. In addition, if millet, millet, soybeans can be exported (for example, the Netherlands buys organic wheat from us and pays a premium for it), then we will not be able to sell organic potatoes except at home, because Europe and Russia are closed for this product. Large companies will not be involved in this, but, of course, for small producers this is a chance, provided there are sales channels.
- What are the trends in the development of potato culture?
- Now there is a clear upward trend in the consumption of potato processing products. For example, the world's consumption of French fries is growing by 10-12% per year. The segment of potato flakes, which is a filler for many products, including culinary products, is growing by 10% per year in the global market. So the development trends of the processing direction are very favorable.
A source: Eastfruit