The small village of Imantau in the North Kazakhstan region with a population of about two and a half thousand people has become the “capital of petunias” for a relatively short period and provides the lion’s share of tax deductions for the entire Aiyrtau region, reports Petropavlovsk.news with reference to the Chamber of Entrepreneurs. – About 15 years ago, my father-in-law Kuzakhmetov Idris decided to start breeding petunias. When he saw how great the demand for these flowers was, he suggested that one family grow petunias first. I provided them with conditions, built greenhouses. They planted flowers, grew them, and he bought them back. Then he suggested that another family take up the cultivation of flowers. Now, 150 households are immediately engaged in the greenhouse business, where more than 500 villagers are involved. He allowed them to get on their feet, and then simply retired,” says Ilnar Galyamshin, a representative of the agro-rural tourism association. The main suppliers of seeds are Holland and America. Over the years of cluster development, logistics has been flawlessly debugged. There are no failures in the supply of seeds. The cost of a kilogram of seeds is up to one and a half million tenge. Practice has shown that Dutch petunias take root well in the north of Kazakhstan. Local residents have already become so experienced flower growers that they determine what color the flowers will be by the edge of the leaves. There was no special training – everyone learned in practice. They introduce modern technologies for irrigation, experiment. “It was a gradual process. They advised each other. They worked for each other, then they set up their own greenhouse at home and began to grow them themselves. They did not compete with each other. Although there is still healthy competition. Someone has more beautiful flowers, someone has a better greenhouse, – explains Ilnar Galyamshin. The flower business here has developed almost without additional subsidies and grants from the state. Despite the fact that the cost of a modern technological greenhouse today reaches 10 million tenge, there are only a few who applied for state financial support. In 2019, according to the business roadmap, one of the residents received an innovative grant, he took funds for welding equipment – to make stoves for greenhouses. According to Ilnar Galyamshin, now the whole country knows about Imantau petunias. People come here for cheap flowers even from the most remote regions. “There is practically no need to search for sales markets. Everything is through word of mouth. Basically, everyone is just waiting for buyers. The main sales markets are Nur-Sultan, Kokshetau and Petropavlovsk. If, for example, there is only one greenhouse under the capital, no one goes there. And in Imantau there are 150 greenhouses, and everyone comes here. But, for example, in 2021 they came from Shymkent, bought petunias here. They planted seeds in March, but frost hit and they had to buy again,” says Ilnar. As with any other business, it is not without its challenges. The years of the pandemic have become difficult for local residents. “The situation is different every year. The year of the pandemic showed that flowers are not so popular during such a period. In 2020, people couldn’t sell flowers. Thrown away by the thousands, tens of thousands. This is very hard work. If the temperature drops, strong winds – everything can die, – local residents share. Despite all the difficulties, the villagers do not plan to look for other business niches. The cost of land and real estate here is commensurate with the capital, because the presence of a greenhouse here is a guarantee of a successful business. – There is expediency when one household grows from one hundred thousand flowers per season. At a cost of 45 tenge, this is more than 4 million tenge. Three months of intensive work, when local residents do not have time to eat or sleep – March, April, May. In the remaining months, only preparatory and repair work is carried out. Each greenhouse employs at least 3-4 people. A family can independently grow 50,000 plants. Moreover, if here the purchase price is 45 tenge, then in the city the cost of such petunias reaches 600 tenge per flower, local residents share. According to growers, the only problem is the lack of workers. Local flower growers are ready to pay five thousand tenge a day, which is quite good for the rural areas of North Kazakhstan region. But finding someone for a permanent job is still difficult.