Back in 1985, the household of Miroslav Batoćanin from the village of Lopaš near Trstenik decided on greenhouse production, when it was a pioneering activity in this area.
Valuable hosts in the years to come joined in the business and their son Vlada, vet by profession, and later his chosen one who is a teacher by profession. Today this household counts seven members and everyone in his domain is in charge of his successful leadership.
There are more greenhouses in this village than inhabitants
For the last ten years, production in these greenhouses experiencing real expansion. Modern achievements are followed production facilities, quality cultivation technology i a good selection of appropriate varieties. Today, they base their greenhouse production on the surface of two acres. Production in these modern facilities lasts throughout the year and only cultures change. For years, production has been based on the principle that in the summer months he grows peppers and tomatoesand in the colder period of the year green salad. If they manage to free up part of the space in the greenhouses, then they also produce cucumbers.
„So it is now. They are currently in greenhouses he plants tomatoes for this year’s production, on an area of about 1 ha, and in some parts and tunnels of greenhouses has lettuce“, Vlada Batoćanin tells us.
We asked where they were market and whether there are customers for their high quality products. “The sale of goods is mostly in large markets and retail chains in Serbia. We always produce more goods and often customers come to us for it. We also export some goods, mainly to Russia and Romaniabut it is not always planned and announced in advance, which would be much better“, Adds Batocanin.
Unfair competition and a lack of balance between imports and exports threaten the price.
Vegetable growers everywhere in Europe, even in our fields, mostly count on the highest earnings of early vegetables. We asked our interlocutors whether this is the case in practice.
Soil fertility in greenhouse production is achieved with proper care!
„Unfortunately, the import of vegetables affects the price of early vegetablesmostly at the cost of early tomatoes, coma the unfair competition at that time was the tomato from Macedonia. Due to different climatic conditions, when the first grain ripens for us, it is already the third. That’s how they are for the first two harvests, they have already achieved higher revenues through a higher priceso they can lower the price of that tomato, which at that time is really lower quality and so on they make it difficult for us to place our early production“, Says the older Batocanin.
In greenhouse production no working hoursso when needed, the family members are engaged all day and night on the control and protection of their greenhouses. This was also the case this winter, because due to extremely low temperatures, there were several nights they had to be on duty and check the heating systemsbut also to reheat as needed, as well as to take care to protect their greenhouses from mechanical damage.
What they point out as a positive shift is that they are last year much easier to get state subsidies to erect new greenhouses. So they expanded production by taking advantage of the benefits, and they did 40% return on investment very quickly and without any unnecessary paperwork, which cannot be provided. Given the price of 30 euros per square meter for the greenhouse, and slightly lower for the tunnels, this they are not negligible means and they certainly enabled them to redirect that money to some other systems for more successful production.
Sometimes the problem is to provide a seasonal workforce.
We were interested in how difficult it is to assess the market situation and make on that basis production plan.
„That’s what science should do. We in principle we have the same production every year and we do not change that production. We always welcome an exceptionally good year which compensates all those years with a worse placement and a lower price“, Vlada Batoćanin answers us.
You need to know this if you want to build a greenhouse
But if the export was planned in agreement with the buyers, a not spontaneously as before and if there were a balance between imports and exports, production would be much more successful. Admittedly, late and collection of receivables from domestic customers 60-90 days, but not more than everyone else in the production chain is waiting for payment. Final contracts i long-term cooperation are a guarantee to them that their products, regardless of the delay, always charge at the agreed price.
When all the conditions for production in a protected space and controlled conditions are created, it remains labor issue. „When there is more work – picking, grading, packing, then everything hires seasonal labor. It’s not hard to find workers, but it’s not that easy, and sometimes there are problems“, Add Batoćani.
In order to make future production as safe as possible and to cope with the large temperature oscillations that we are all witnessing, these hard-working hosts plan to dedicate themselves. investing in better and safer heating systems in their greenhouses. The sown areas do not intend to expand in the near future.
Photo: Vladimir Marinkovic
Interlocutors: Miroslav and Vlada Batoćanin, producers from the village of Lopaš
Source: AGROmedia by www.agromedia.rs.
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