According to the National Fruit and Vegetable Union, only 20–25% of the containers for storing vegetables and potatoes from the total 6,9 million tons available in the country meet the latest standards.
According to APH Group (a supplier of equipment for growing and storing potatoes and vegetables), now there is nowhere to store at least 40-50% of vegetable products grown in Russia.
The bulk of high-tech storage is concentrated in large farms and agricultural holdings. But in general, the share of modern facilities in all vegetable-growing enterprises is less than 50%, says Andrey Grobovoy, commercial director of APH Group. Most of the existing vegetable stores were built in Soviet times, their condition is not the best. “The equipment is outdated, old automation is used, the walls are practically leakproof, they are not suitable for long-term storage,” confirms the General Director of Agrolayn (designs, constructs and equips vegetable and fruit storages) Anna Peskisheva.
For long-term storage with minimal losses, vegetable stores should be equipped with effective humidification systems and refrigeration equipment. Remote climate control systems with various options for maintaining storage statistics are already an integral part of high-tech tanks, Grobova told Agroinvestor. Small farms mainly sell their products directly from the field, or lay them in unequipped premises, where vegetables lie for a maximum of several months and with high quality losses. Industrial cultivation of vegetable products is impossible without quality storage. “The storage can be compared to a bank where farmers actually put their money,” says the top manager. “The difference in the cost of vegetables at the beginning of harvesting and in spring can reach 100%.”
However, the availability of modern storage does not mean that storage will automatically be at a high level. Using technologies that are expensive in terms of construction and operation, it is very important not to make mistakes that lead to serious losses and do not allow justifying the costs. Losses from improper storage, according to the APH Group, can be critical - up to 70%. Especially if there was a problematic cleaning and the quality of the product is low already at the stage of receipt in the store, Grobova emphasizes. However, even with all the recommendations, some product losses cannot be avoided. “Losses in the region of 5–7% are a good and honest indicator,” he says.
Not every farmer can afford the construction of a high-tech vegetable store. The cost of capacity depends on many factors. Among them - the configuration of the building, the type of product and the type of ventilation. For example, a reliable Dutch ventilation system, according to Grobovoy, will cost from 1,5 rubles / kg storage for potatoes and up to 3,5 rubles / kg for onions, plus the cost of additional quality maintenance systems such as humidification, heat guns and etc. The cost of refrigeration equipment for carrots and cabbage can be up to 8−10 rubles / kg of products. When stored in containers, its cost must also be considered. A high-quality wooden container made of dried wood can be bought for 4-5 thousand rubles. It usually holds about 0,9-1,3 tons of vegetables. That is, the price of containers is sometimes higher than the cost of HVAC equipment, a top manager draws attention.
The cost of buildings also varies. This can be prefabricated frameless storages at a price of 10-12 thousand rubles / m², or buildings made of metal frames and sandwich panels, which cost 50% more. “But this is a one-time cost of a storage facility that will last 25–30 years and, unlike field equipment, requires minimal costs associated with repairs and spare parts,” notes Grobovoi. At the same time, modern capacities can pay off in just a year of operation, depending on the pricing environment.
A source: http://kvedomosti.ru