The greenhouse farm “Zanjani Nezhad”, headed by R. Zanjani Nezhad, is one of the largest and most successful in the Saryagash district. But not everything turned out easily and immediately.
Rustem Ismail oglu has known since childhood how difficult it is to engage in greenhouse farming.
Like many families of the Saryagash district, there has always been a small greenhouse in the yard, in which parents grew flowers, as long as Rustem remembers. Of course, children from an early age took part in both weeding and watering. Therefore, having matured and created his own family, the young man continued the family business.
“At first we used about ten acres of farmstead for a greenhouse,” says R. Zanjani nezhad. — It was built as soon as Gorbachev gave permission to engage in entrepreneurial activity. I was a student then, I came to help my family work in the greenhouse. We, like many, grew flowers: first roses, and when the earth got tired, we switched to carnations and chrysanthemums. I took flowers to Russia, handed them over in bulk. In parallel, he gained experience in both sales and production. Experimented, read, watched how others do. Later, we had to abandon the flowers, because they started coming from the West, and we could not compete, because there were new varieties, new technologies, well-established logistics.
In those years, on the contrary, everything was closed. Then it was decided to switch to the production of tomatoes and cucumbers. Things went well, there was a desire to expand. The land in those years was inexpensive, I bought three hectares and began to slowly master a new business. It was the two thousandth year. At first it was very difficult, it was necessary to build a temporary shelter in order to be close to the purchased plot. After all, then there were really no borders, so foreign cattle constantly wandered into our land. In general, it was necessary to connect the light, bring the road. In parallel, of course, we continued to work in the greenhouse, because we need money for everything.”
Rustem began to apply all his experience gained in a home greenhouse on novaya Zemlya. And at the same time he continued to study. After all, large scales require a lot of effort and new knowledge. I learned everything along the way: to prepare land and take loans. So, more than 20 years have passed in working and gaining new skills and experience, sometimes bitter.
“I rebuilt the greenhouses twice. First, I moved here for ten acres those that stood on the plot of land, then I received a preferential loan, purchased building materials at a reasonable price from those who closed the business, completed and expanded their farm, — says the chairman of the greenhouse farm. — At first, these greenhouses seemed large, and then, when customers began to order large volumes, they suddenly turned out to be small. A significant role was also played by the fact that we have Western technologies. Of course, not everyone did not immediately accept them with a bang.
For example, when foreigners first presented drip irrigation, we thought that it would not work on our clay soil. At the same time, at that time, traditionally each bush of seedlings had a hole. It was necessary to go through each row and pour water into the hole. It was hard physical labor, besides, it took a lot of time. In general, we decided to try the innovation and made sure how effective it is. Now it is enough to install the containers, once lay out the hoses in rows and let water run through them. Therefore, all greenhouses were gradually rebuilt for them.
Then there were technologies that improve the operation of heating boilers, which facilitates the work of stokers. That is, we began to constantly use some technological innovations and slowly expand. It was at this time that the understanding came that it was time to switch to industrial greenhouses. So, in 2013, I started building my first industrial greenhouse. Now we have already mastered one and a half hectares.
It is clear that additional finances are required to reach the next level, because everything requires money. Of course, we try to approach this thoughtfully.
For example, special equipment is needed to create a microclimate in a greenhouse. There are companies that supply a complete set, but it is very expensive, so we assemble this system ourselves, buying only components. By trial and error, we achieve the desired effect with minimal costs. But of course, you can’t do without additional funds anyway.
Recently, I received a preferential loan for the third time. This time they called me themselves and offered it for reconstruction and expansion at six percent for five years. Well done, very good support. After all, we have all sorts of things. Sometimes, you can say, the off-season with vegetables. We don’t know when, where and how much, for example, the dollar will jump. But we have a film, drip irrigation systems, fertilizer — we buy everything for the currency. It happens that it is not possible to sell products at the expected price. In general, we are not engaged in implementation. We are manufacturers. Our products are taken in bulk directly from greenhouses and sent to where they consider it more profitable: across Kazakhstan or to Russia.
Since many people are now engaged in vegetables, seasonal overproduction happens, borders are closed for various reasons, or there is a pandemic. In general, if things are not going well, what is the point of looking for the guilty? It is much more productive to look for new opportunities for development. Therefore, moving away from vegetables, someone takes up strawberries, someone for lemons, and we, having gained experience, decided to return to flowers again. After all, in order to always have a chance to “swim out”, it is necessary to vary: we will leave part of the greenhouses under vegetables, and we will occupy part with flowers. Planted roses. I think it will work. There are problems in Holland now. Against the background of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, gas has become much more expensive, and it has become unprofitable for them to grow flowers. Perhaps there won’t be any landings there yet, but our conditions are good. So this year we decided to transfer one greenhouse to flowers.
We plan to transfer one greenhouse to flowers every year, perhaps this will be a good way out of the situation. Moreover, everything has improved with logistics, new technologies have appeared, and new Dutch varieties can be bought without any problems. Volumes are growing. Soon it will be time to divide the farm, because I have learned from experience: one or two hectares are enough for a family, otherwise there will be no return from greenhouses. I know some people have three or five hectares, but what’s the point if the efficiency is no longer the same, there is no way to control the workers, create the right conditions.
In addition, if a large farm is sinking, then it is already very difficult to save it, like the Titanic. Much more complicated than a small one. So we vary. Especially since we have problems with workers. In the season we need a lot of them, and in the off-season they are superfluous, so we hire only for temporary work. But, having dismissed them to their homes, it can be very difficult to collect them again when the time comes. Therefore, it is necessary to calculate everything so that workers are always in demand, that is, they work with us on a permanent basis. To do this, you need to plant different crops, take into account the timing of their vegetation, harvest time. Then the people in the greenhouse will always be busy, which means there will be no need to hire, then dismiss.
Of course, state support in the form of “long” money is also very important for successful development. Yes, the state is trying to provide us with such support, but, in my opinion, it is not enough yet. We had subsidies, but they were canceled a few years ago. In return, they promised preferential loans for seven years with two-year vacations so that we could have time to get back on our feet. It was 2018. At that time, we were promised such support, subsidies were canceled, and concessional lending on agreed terms was not given. Unfortunately, all decisions are made at the top. We don’t even see deputies who should worry about us.
I believe that in all such issues, the decisive voice, first of all, should be the akim of the rural district, who knows us all very well: who is a hard worker, who will definitely repay the loan, and who should not be trusted. It is the village akim who should make a list of applicants for state support. Unfortunately, now the akim of the rural district is not involved in this process at all. And those who distribute the funds are so far from us that they have no idea who the public money is being distributed to.
Another problem is continuity. Yes, over the years we have managed to accumulate a wealth of experience in greenhouse farming, but young people do not want to take over the baton. And all because the state has not yet offered any real support capable of leaving promising young men and girls in the village.
For example, I have two sons whom I have taught everything, but neither of them wants to continue the family business. But it was possible, having accepted me as a guarantor, to give them start-up capital from the state for the construction of a house and business development. After all, everyone will benefit from this, since they already have an agronomic education and experience. They could bring huge benefits by supplying their products to the markets, boosting the economy.
But, alas, this issue has not yet been worked out in the country and, like most, they will go to the cities in search of a better life, without applying their knowledge and abilities at home. And after years, I will either have to sell my business or rent out greenhouses, since there is no one to transfer my business to.”
R. Zanjani nezhad also regrets that there is no more planning in agriculture. After all, if farmers knew in advance which crops should be preferred in each agricultural season, there would be no disappointments about overproduction.
“Sometimes we plant the same crop, and then, because of its overabundance on the market, we have to sell our goods at a low price,” says Rustem. – Therefore, it would be good if the village akim, for example, took over such planning. Helped to distribute: to whom and what to grow, so as not to lose. In general, we still have a lot of problems… I would like to hope that all of them will gradually find their solution.”
But no matter what difficulties arise, the work in the complex does not stop.
Today, cucumber seedlings are gaining strength in the closed ground of the farm “Zanjani Nezhad”. In 20 days, the harvest will begin, which will last until the end of December. Then tomatoes will take their place, which will be ready by the beginning of April. And in parallel, roses are growing in another greenhouse. Rustem plans to please women with them on March 8.
A source: https://yujanka.kz