GREENHOUSE ECONOMY: THE DEMAND OUTSRIPS THE SUPPLY
Particularly during this time of the year, discussions are underway about developing greenhouse farms, expanding possessions, and at least partially satisfying domestic demand for vegetables. The topic has been relevant for many years. However, no significant changes have been reported. The persistence of some of the initiators in this field is the fact that some of them have already achieved success and are planning to expand their production with the experience they have accumulated. Those, who are more or less familiar with the field, know well where the greenhouses of Hadrut are.
From afar the look of the greenhouse glows: neat, luminous. The real surprise awaits those few who are lucky enough to enter the greenhouse. Pleasant bushes of cucumber and pepper and even tomato vases ... This is not an experimental center of some foreign country, but a greenhouse near Hadrut. This greenhouse with interesting architectural and technological solutions operates since 2015 with an area of 2000 sq. km, several kilometers away from the region center. There is a drip irrigation system, and heat and air conditioning are regulated by a semi-automatic system with minimal human intervention. It is clear at first glance, that the authors of the initiative started with a long-term plan. Not everything was always neat and tidy here. Almost nothing today suggests that the founders were two young friends, far from agriculture, particularly farming and greenhouse farming. The desire was so great that even the initial failures, which, in fact, are inevitable for all beginners, have become a lesson rather than a fad. "This is the case when you can't say quit this job tomorrow or not do it. Greenhouse does not like and does not accept such an approach,” says Michael Karamyan, director of Ojakh LLC.A greenhouse likes German punctuality, and the perseverance of the Artsakh people was no less important. Soil and water are subjected to laboratory expertise each year to prevent disease and other complications in a timely manner, in order to properly orientate in nutrition
Ultimately, however, injecting extra potassium, calcium or nitrogen can have the opposite effect. The same principle applies to the maintenance of temperature: 16-18-degree heat at night and 24-28-degree heat in the daytime all year. In this respect the area is in a favorable position. The geographical position is not randomly selected. Even in the frost the temperature does not drop below 3 degrees Celsius. The heating period lasts 5 months. Is it done in an eco-mode: with wood, but with a modern system. Strange as it may sound, crop pollination is also done in an eco-mode. “We import bees especially for this purpose,” says Michael Karamyan. Hives are imported from Europe. The price of each is 45 thousand AMD. One hive is designed for 1500 square meters to pollute. But Michael Karamyan and his friend install binary twice a year to achieve maximum results: again on fixed terms. In the fight against parasitic worms they also try to apply natural remedies. The availability of drugs, fertilizers and other essentials is one of the key preconditions for high quality products.
And in the matter of irrigation, they do not seek savings, but the balanced development of plants. Drip mode and the help of special sand always make the soil ideal for plant growth. New species are also localized with new knowledge. “In the first year we didn't have a large range of greenhouses: one or two varieties of tomatoes, one vegetable, one or two varieties of cucumber. Today we have seven varieties of tomatoes, four to five varieties of peppers, three varieties of cucumbers,” says Michael Karamyan. They have no problem with consumption. “We have set ourselves the task of at least meeting the demand of the Hadrut region. But we haven't reached that level yet,” says the young greenhouse owner. It is planned to expand the greenhouse in the near future: at this stage, another 500 square meters. But the bar is higher. "We aim to have a greenhouse with one hectare, with at least 15 employees," says Michael Karamyan, confident that someday it will happen.
There are no state plans to expand special greenhouse farms yet. This year, one of the first targeted programs in this field will be launched, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Vilen Avetisyan said. The state will support the owners of greenhouses in heating. The amount of support per hectare per year is 2 million drams. But there are some criteria. Those greenhouses can benefit from this support program that are heated, provided with irrigation water saving systems, and reach a minimum of 135 square meters. Applications are currently being accepted. It will be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the program after its practical application.