IS IT POSSIBLE TO EARN FOR SALE OF A STRAWBERRY?
Tasty berries, the rapid onset of fruiting, the ability to grow in different climatic conditions made strawberries the most popular berry crop. It is not surprising that many people think about the prospects of its cultivation for commercial purposes.
So what is it necessary to know and remember everyone who wants to make money on strawberries so that unscrupulous businessmen earned on you? Indeed, in the hope of a monthly income for 100000 rubles. someone bought a “chu-berry” for 200 rubles, someone gave several thousand rubles for useless guidelines for organizing a berry in an apartment, and some lost much more money by investing in obviously unprofitable projects.
After analyzing my extensive experience in dealing with people who are seriously engaged in the strawberry business, I want to share the observations and conclusions in the hope that they will be useful to readers.
The biggest mistake of all those who decided to engage in strawberry business is the false belief that strawberries are a well-known and studied culture for which there are well-developed cultivation methods, so strawberry business is a kind of franchise business or the like of making a profit. Because of this, people spend a lot of time and effort on an unsuccessful search for "universal technological cards" or "competent specialists" who will say exactly what, how and when to plant and how much profit will come from one plant.
The first thing to realize is that the strawberry business is not suitable for people who want to receive passive income. There are no universal schemes and rules on how to profit from strawberries! Each farm, large or small, is a case of singular and unique in terms of its soil and microclimatic conditions, the availability of labor and sales opportunities for products.
For these reasons, agricultural technology and assortment are always developed individually, and we will have to do this ourselves. As experience shows, it is unprofitable to invite a professional consultant to such a consultation - the profitability and low level of culture of Russian business (many scammers and dishonest people) do not allow it.
Some help on the basics of agrotechnology and the characteristics of varieties can be obtained in social networks. But note that the most active in them are novices with a lot of questions, adequate answers on the forums are much less. People who have spent a lot of time, money and nerves on the selection of suitable agrotechnics and assortment are usually not in a hurry to share valuable information with potential competitors for free. Scientific staff of specialized institutes can advise on general issues, mainly regarding diseases and pests of culture.
According to the majority of successful strawberry farmers, to start a business it is enough to allocate a hundred square meters of land and plant no more than 200 plants. Work out the basics of agricultural technology, see the real yield in your conditions, which is always lower than the variety declared in the description, and most importantly, you will understand if you want to do this further.
Beginners are always tormented by the question of what is more important: choosing the right agricultural machinery to get a good crop regardless of the varieties, or the secret of success in the “right grade”, as advertising tries to convince? In this matter, I definitely advise you to pay more attention to the subtleties of agricultural engineering in order to ensure a satisfactory stable crop for yourself when growing.
any grades. To focus on one grade is risky for business, but also spray on a hundred varieties in an attempt to try everything and choose the best one - a tedious, costly and futile task. As experience shows, for a successful business it is enough to select 5-6 grades of different maturity periods and annually test 1-2 new products.
Another dilemma - which is more profitable: to grow strawberries in greenhouses for off-season sale at a high price or in open ground for summer sales? As experience again shows, in our conditions it is definitely better to start a business with growing in open ground. At-
the domestic production of wild strawberries in heated greenhouses is a very arduous and expensive business. Only a well-coordinated team of experienced agronomists and engineers, which we have all over the country, can select and maintain optimal conditions of temperature regime, lighting, mineral nutrition and a complex of protection against diseases and pests from the point of view of agronomy and economics.
Having decided to go into business, it is naive to assume that you will receive a return on investments and profits in the first season, as unfair advertising promises. The experience of communicating with honest people who are seriously engaged in this business clearly indicates that with the most optimistic calculations for making profit, you can count not earlier than in 5 years of work, for which agricultural equipment, assortment and stable sales will be debugged.
All successful entrepreneurs I know are unanimous in the opinion that the cultivation of strawberries in our country is a business with very high risks and costs. Productivity is highly dependent on weather conditions, it is necessary to invest in protection from cold weather (making shelters from film or polycarbonate), and in protection against drought and overheating (artificial irrigation and shading systems are mandatory).
The relatively stable and successful cultivation of strawberries for a berry is possible in our country only in the southern regions (in the Lipetsk, Voronezh, Belgorod regions and to the south). Please note that even in the Crimea and the Krasnodar Territory, open-field commodity production is carried out using temporary tunnel film or polycarbonate shelters!
Moscow State Farm named after Lenin is an exception confirming the rule. Small farms cannot be compared with him. Firstly, the state farm is a large diversified enterprise, where the cultivation of wild strawberries is only one of the items of income. Secondly, experienced strawberry specialists have been engaged in strawberry cultivation there for more than 50 years, together with employees of the nearby Biryulevsky Institute of Horticulture and Nursery.
And the third most important factor is the presence of a huge megalopolis nearby with a high level of solvent demand and temporary labor. After all, another serious problem is the pronounced seasonality of production. The need for labor is great in the short period of planting seedlings and harvesting, and the rest of the time using modern agricultural technology is minimal. Where to get skilled and conscious (!) Workers for a short period of time, each entrepreneur has to decide for himself.
Experienced people agree: it is good to start the strawberry business as an additional or auxiliary to some other type of activity (animal husbandry, organizing ecotourism, selling planting material).
Many entrepreneurs, having worked agrotechnics, picking up varieties and striving to move to large volumes of production, found that in the Russian context it was extremely difficult and expensive to regularly update the plantings (through 1 -2 of the year, as the technology prescribes)! Most of the initially successful projects closed for this very reason. There are no industrial varieties fructifying 6-8 for years!
There is practically no domestic production of seedlings suitable for laying a berry. The main reasons are the high cost of producing high-quality seedlings due to adverse weather conditions and the lack of Russian industrial varieties of strawberries that meet modern requirements (primarily, high transportability of berries).
Regularly acquiring seedlings from foreign suppliers is difficult because of the large number of intermediaries and expensive because of unpredictable currency fluctuations. Therefore, deciding to engage in the production of berries for sale, Russian entrepreneurs need to immediately think about the question of how to get high-quality seedlings. In parallel with the development of agricultural production of berries need to allocate space (usually one quarter) and develop their own technology for seedlings.
In conclusion, I want to say: I hope that despite all the difficulties, my article will not scare courageous people who have decided to take up the difficult task of growing dugouts in our country, but will warn you against excessively optimistic expectations and quick disappointments.
BUSINESS AT STRAWBERRY - VIDEO
© Posted by: About. SYRITSO, Researcher of the fruit growing laboratory
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