Big prospects for mushroom growing in Russian Federation

On the 22nd of March 2018 the first All-Russian conference dedicated to the production of cultivated mushrooms in the Russian Federation took place in Moscow. It was co-organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia and the Association “Greenhouses of Russia”.

The conference was attended by different participants, like representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, sector organizations, Russian mushrooms growers, producers of spawn (mycelium) and compost and suppliers of mushrooms growing equipment. It was noted by all participants that mushroom growing today is a very perspective and for investments very attractive sector in the Russian Federation.

The Russian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Djambulat Khatuov, told the audience that in 2017 four investment projects in mushroom growing were selected for soft loans, which means an interest rate of not more than 5%. Those four projects can be found in Tula region, Krasnodar kray, Penza region and in the republic of Tatarstan. The total value of the projects amounts 5.43 billion Russian ruble (approximately 7, 8 million euro) with an estimated total production capacity of 24.6 tons of mushrooms.

Another interesting fact is that the Russian Government is working right now on new legislation. The main focus is on co-financing investments and to adopt the definition of greenhouse complexes, mushroom growing farms and producers of compost. This means that investors in those segments will become entitled for re-imbursement of 20% of capital means from the federal budget (within the framework of the Russian State Program of the Development of Agriculture for 2013-2020).

Mushroom production in Russia has a huge potential and great growth prospects. This is evidenced by the fact that until 2015 mushroom cultivation in the country was poorly developed, mainly due to the low-cost imports. During this period it was impossible for local entrepreneurs to compete freely. In the past few years the country has seen an increase in mushrooms production. Petr Chekmarev, Director of the Horticultural department of the Ministry of Agriculture, mentioned the following official figures. In 2012 the gross harvest in the Russian Federation amounted to nearly 5.000 tons of mushrooms. However, since the Russian counter sanctions on vegetables in 2014, this figure has  increased to 9.680 tons in 2016 and finally reached 16.000 tons in 2017.  It’s planned to put several new mushroom growing complexes into operation in 2018, as well as compost production facilities. Thanks to that the production of mushrooms in Russia is forecasted to be as high as 38.000 tons in 2018.

The bulk of production in 2017 took place in the Central Federal District – 7.779 tons (48.4%), which is the leading area in terms of mushrooms cultivation in Russia. The Volga Federal District, with 3.021 tons (18.8%), is taking the second place, followed by the North-West Federal District with 2.609 tons (16.2%). The Southern Federal District is fourth with 2.533 tons (15.7%) of mushrooms grown in 2017. Beyond the Urals, champignon production is almost not developed.

Industrial cultivation of mushrooms in Russia is becoming more attractive: the demand greatly exceeds supply, and imported products from Poland and other EU countries are under embargo. At the same time consumption of mushroom in Russia is not falling. In 2016 the consumption of cultivated mushrooms amounted to 110.000 tons, according to data of the Association “Greenhouses of Russia”. At the moment, companies operating in the mushroom market have the challenge to develop and promote further the internal demand by creating a more mushroom consumption culture in Russia.  Currently the level of mushrooms consumption in Russia is one of the lowest in Europe. Furthermore, Russia spent in 2017 around 400 million US dollar on importing mushrooms and compost.

Today the production of substrates and composts for mushrooms industrial cultivation is attractive for investments itself. A number of enterprises have already organized their own compost production which is significantly more profitable. According to some estimates the cost of locally produced compost is around 104 euro per ton, compared with 320 - 360 euro per ton for compost which is imported from for example Lithuania and Poland. Investments for compost production are fully payed off in 1 year and 7 months.

Both mushroom growing and compost production are quite complicated processes which require modern and reliable technologies, know-how and input materials. Another important issue is well-qualified and trained personnel. Those recent developments in the Russian mushroom market, might lead to interesting opportunities and chances for Dutch suppliers and consultants active in this attractive sector.

On 06-08 June, 2018, a specialized exhibition “Protected Soil of Russia” will take place in Moscow at VDNKh exhibition grounds. Within the framework of the business program of the exhibition a Round Table is organized “On the development of Industrial Production of Cultivated Mushrooms in Russia”. It will be held on June 07th, 2018, at 15.30-16.30, in the pavilion 75, room 237 For more information you can contact the organizer: Association Greenhouses of Russia, Deputy general Director Vladimir Podzemelnykh

LAN Moscow