In the Astrakhan region, in addition to tomatoes, they managed to arrange the processing of almost all types of vegetables: eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, onion, pepper, squash and celery. But production is developing mainly due to large companies. The farmers who grow and process vegetables in the region literally once, twice and miscalculated.
Exactly ten years ago, the regional Ministry of Agriculture reported that vegetable growers have achieved good results, having collected almost 2009 thousand tons of products during the 600 season, including 350 thousand tons of tomatoes, increasing by a quarter the figure of the previous year. But at that time only five percent, 30,9 thousand tons, were allocated for processing. After that, the region adopted a program for the development of vegetable growing, and five years later, processing increased 1,7 times, up to 54,4 thousand tons. But the collection of vegetables itself increased by 2,3 times, to one million 425 thousand tons, so that the share of processed products actually "dissolved" in the total volume, amounting to less than four percent.
But from that moment the situation began to change. First, the Astrakhan Canning Company expanded its range by installing new production lines. In addition to the traditional tomato paste and tomatoes in its own juice, the company began to produce mushroom stew, eggplant with garlic, assorted cauliflower, gherkins and cherry tomatoes, as well as dietary syrups and jams. And in 2016, a large investment project was successfully implemented in the Kharabalinsky district: the Astrakhan agro-industrial complex was created, which surpassed the indicators of all Astrakhan companies combined. Starting from 50 thousand tons, in 2017 the plant has already processed 200 thousand tons of tomatoes, and in 2019 - 346 thousand tons.
This year, the company plans to open a branch in the Enotaevsky district with a processing capacity of 50 thousand tons per year. At the same time, small companies are slowly leaving the market: the number of processors, which were already less than two dozen, decreased by one and a half times, to 11. I was not interested in the processing of farmers who grow these vegetables. Although local authorities planned to actively involve them in it, urging them to open mini-shops.
“This is a completely different type of business, and other investments are needed there,” Aleksey Arefiev, the owner of a leading vegetable-growing farm in the Enotaevsky district, explained to RG. - Plants cost hundreds of millions of rubles, not tens. Yes, and there is no particular interest, we have organized the heat treatment and packaging of products, and we have no problems with sales: we grow, give a presentation and supply to well-known retail chains throughout the country.
In the opinion of Natalya Akimova, director of the Astrakhan canned food enterprise, farmers are not interested in processing, since state support does not apply to it. If the Ministry of Agriculture allocates subsidies to vegetable growers for the purchase of seeds and the acquisition of a reclamation system, then the producers are not entitled to anything.
“Theoretically, it is possible to issue a 25% compensation for equipment costs, but it is very difficult to get it, we have not yet succeeded,” said Natalya Akimova. According to her, the production of canned food is costly and difficult, you need to have a good cash cushion and a staff of qualified specialists. In addition, taxes are heavily pressured, and the price of products depends on the mood of federal networkers.
“They are the ones who dictate the market conditions today, not the manufacturer,” says Natalya. - Therefore, our costs are growing, but income is not. At the same time, there are farmers with a vegetable garden and a plant. The pride of the Chernoyarsk region is Natalya Sablina's farm, where they grow tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, squash, cucumbers and eggplants, and then make marinade from them in their own workshop. But if in 2015 the farm processed 2,6 thousand vegetables, then by the beginning of 2020 it had cut production by exactly half. Natalya Sablina declined to comment, confining herself to the phrase: "While working."
According to the famous vegetable grower of the Volga region, Evgeny Anufriev, today it makes sense for farmers to engage in processing only if they act as representatives of a large plant or are combined into cooperatives.
“Our business is seasonal, and production requires stable supplies,” says Anufriev. - In addition, we do not have control over the situation, so everyone throws out their goods, sometimes they are not. Having united, the farmers will at least understand when and at what price to enter the market.
A source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta