One of the biggest greenhouse vegetable growers Eco-kultura is planning to engage in growing and processing of industrial hemp. "It is not produced by anyone in Russia yet", says vice-president Mr Sergey Fomenkov.
Eco-Kultura is a major greenhouse vegetable grower in the Russian Federation. The holding includes seven greenhouse complexes with the overall acreage of 145 ha. This was realised in the last decade only. In this period the Russian greenhouse industry as a whole has been modernised and expanded rapidly, looking for self-sufficiency.
Eco-Kultura grows a broad palet of greenhouse vegetables and is looking to expand in various activities such as gran processing.
Also production abroad is in their sight: they have announced plans to combine growth in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China, plans that have to result in a company exceeding 1000 hectares greenhouse production and having a market share of 30% in Russia.
Now there are more ambitions, mr Sergey Fomenkov announced. “We would like to grow cannabis for medical purposes too. A greenhouse complex has limited space, we could guard it and it seems like a perfect place for the respective production.”
However the law might be an issue. Hemp in Russia is a prohibited plant - although since 2007, the Russian government has allowed the cultivation of industrial hemp varieties.
Fomenkov said that he had already talked with officials on this topic, however, it doesn't seem as if they are ready to support them. He's surprised by it, since they
Mr. Fomenkov is astonished by the fact that the government authorities do not want to cooperate in the matter. Following a law that has recently been approved, they allowed growing medical poppies despite the fact that they would be grown in greenhouses.